The former Cat Stevens joins Joe Satriani vs. Coldplay

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The former Cat Stevens joins Joe Satriani vs. Coldplay

Mon May 04, 2009 @ 02:52PM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Cat-stevens C to C sharp, G to G sharp, throw in an E minor, follow it with an F minor, and so on...

This chord progression is quickly becoming the stuff of legal legend. 

In December, rock guitarist Joe Satriani sued Coldplay, alleging that the band's song "Viva La Vida" was a rip-off of Satriani's "If I Can Fly."

Now, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens says he came up with this tune in a 1973 song, "Foreigner Suite." Yusuf Islam says he has no plans to sue, but it could damage Satriani's claim.

Of course, to win a copyright claim Satriani will have to show his work was original enough to enjoy protection and prove that Coldplay's song is substantially similar.

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The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to

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