If Coldplay Could Rule The World, They Wouldn't Be In CourtTue Dec 16, 2008 @ 01:25AM PST
By Eriq Gardner
Progressive rock guitarist Joe Satriani has evidently heard the Internet cattle-chatter about whether the new Coldplay song "Viva La Vida" is a rip-off of his 2004 instrumental tune, "If I Could Fly."
Satriani recently filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles alleging that Coldplay incorporates "substantial original portions" of the songs melody.
Many people have had fun comparing the two songs. Here's a song comparison put together by a YouTube user that asks whether Coldplay is a tune-thief.
Satriani will need to prove both substantial similarity and that the band had access to his song to win in court. It's much easier for a musician to win a case that involves song lyrics, for obvious reasons, but copyright claims on melodies have been successful on rare occasions too. In one of the most famous, the Shirelles prevailed over George Harrison when the late Beatle took "He's So Fine" to make "My Sweet Lord." Here's the detailed history of that case.