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Copyright Pt.2 Coldplay vs Satriani

December 5, 2008

A few days ago we wrote about Copyright hype and how for musicians with developing fan base’s copyrighting songs was generally a waste of money.

Today I saw this in my inbox:

Joe Satriani Sues Coldplay Over “Viva La Vida”

Guitarist Joe Satriani filed a lawsuit Thursday in Los Angeles federal court claiming “Viva la Vida” contains “substantial original portions” of his 2004 instrumental tune “If I Could Fly”. Satriani wants a jury trial, damages, and “any and all profits” from the song. Which would be a hell of a lot.

Wow. Well I guess the lesson is if you are the biggest band in the world everyone wants a piece of you and copyrighting your songs is a big deal.

The songs in question “Viva la Vida” and “If I Could Fly” are similar but i think this case will be thrown because although the guitar lines are similar, they are not identical. And it’s really Chris Martin’s vocal and lyrics that makes Viva La Vida, not the guitar line.

We’ll keep our eye on this case and let you know if anything comes of it.

Take Control of Your Music,


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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 6, 2008 5:44 am

    I heard that Satriani song, and it is pretty alike at that certain part. Can you copyright a melody like that?

  2. December 8, 2008 6:58 am

    Copyrighting a melody line? I’m not sure but from what I understand the 2 melody lines need to be very similar for a certain period of time and we’re talking about 8 seconds rather then a full verse.

    I haven’t taken a super close look at this sort of copyright issue simply because I think that this is a Satriani publicity stunt. In all outcomes of this case I see him gaining the most and losing the least.
    If Satriani wins I think we’ll see a few more cases like this coming out of the woodwork.

    BTW what’s the deal with woodwork? Where’s the wood? Who’s doing the work? Why is Satriani coming out of it?


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