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Joe Satriani sues Coldplay for "copying substantial original portions" from one of his songs

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Amerigo Vespucci Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 10:51 AM
Original message
Joe Satriani sues Coldplay for "copying substantial original portions" from one of his songs


An American rock guitarist has filed a lawsuit against Coldplay, accusing the popular British band of plagiarising one of his songs on their latest hit album, according to court documents published on Thursday.

Joe Satriani, known for his instrumental compositions, alleges Coldplay's song "Viva la Vida" had "copied and incorporated substantial original portions" from his own track "If I Could Fly" recorded on an album released in 2004.

Satriani's lawsuit demands damages and "any and all profits" related to the alleged copyright infringement.

A representative for the band was not immediately available for comment.

Coldplay's latest album "Viva la vida," released in June, has topped the charts in Europe and the United States. The recording helped Coldplay win seven nominations for the 2009 Grammy awards.

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Guitarist_files_plagiaris...

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Symarip Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 10:56 AM
Response to Original message
1. I hope Satriani wins
It's bad enough Coldplay are a bunch of pretentious assholes making pretentiously assholey music. But the prospect of them making PLAGIARIZED pretentiously assholey music is really sweet, sweet music to my ears.
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
2. Here's a YouTube comparison...
...first one, then the other, then both at once: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ofFw9DKu_I

Same melody and chords, in the same key...unless the video-maker transposed Satch.
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Amerigo Vespucci Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 11:06 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Yeah, that's pretty much the same song...
...sounds like Coldplay's going to be making out a check for Mr. Satriani.

:rofl:
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. Sad thing is, I like Coldplay's much better.
It's glorious. Those strings are awesome.
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Amerigo Vespucci Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. They stole the song, they just didn't steal one of Satch's BEST songs...
...I own all of Satriani's CDS, and that song was just off my radar. I tend to put together mix CDS since there are very few "start-to-finish" albums that I enjoy.

:toast:
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #2
16. Maybe they can go on tour together
:think:
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Eurobabe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
4. I like Joe Satriani alot
Sounds mighty similiar to me. Indeed.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
5. What?! Coldplay being fake? I'll NEVER believe it!
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SidneyCarton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
6. Well, if you're going to rip someone off...
Rip off the best.
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Tuesday Afternoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. true that
:thumbsup:
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Sebastian Doyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
7. And all this time I thought they were just ripping off U2
Never occurred to me they were ripping off other artists too.
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Taverner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. EVERYONE copied off U2
Not their music, but their style

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ElboRuum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
9. Coldplay... yet another formulaic RIAA manufactured band...
I hope they get the socks sued off of them, and they never play another note. They are so GOD AWFUL.
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dawgmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. Ditto. n/t
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harmonicon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 12:16 PM
Response to Original message
11. they copied a Kraftwerk song as well
though I think they may have acknowledged that.
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Tektonik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 10:47 AM
Response to Reply #11
40. Computerliebe
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Capn Sunshine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 12:22 PM
Response to Original message
12. From a musical standpoint, I see how they could have done this
It's more a function of structure. The chords lend themselves to that melody. It's a very simple pattern. Easy to see how they would get the progression, and develop from that.

That being said, it's totally the same.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. oh my god, they're exactly the same!
Edited on Fri Dec-05-08 02:41 PM by pitohui
what a shame, i would assume it wasn't intentional but they must have obviously heard the song before! i too think they're gonna have to pay off the original writer

that coldplay song is EVERYWHERE, i wonder why it took the guy so long to notice or maybe it took time to work out the details of how to sue w. his attorney

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dawgmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
14. Pay the Man
Why am I not surprised that such a boring, mainstream deadly dull band hasn't an original thought?

Pay the man.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
17. I like some of Coldplay's stuff... and loathe that arrogant noodler Satriani...
Edited on Fri Dec-05-08 01:06 PM by redqueen
but looks like they need to pay the guy.
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ceile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. Agreed
Satriani makes my skin crawl for some reason.....
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Twillig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. arrogant?
It's hard to calibrate arrogance amongst guitarists when you have Yngwie Malmsteen at one end of the scale and St. Joe at the other.

Everybody has likes and dislikes though. YMMV.

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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. What? They're both way on one end, nearly on top of each other.
Sorry but technical ability is not the same as talent. IMO they only have technical ability.

Others disagree, of course.
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Twillig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Technical ability is not the same as arrogance.Is it?
That is what you are saying, basically. You don't like people that can play?

WTF.

I'm saying Malmsteen's a prick, Joe's a pretty decent person from all accounts.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. Oh... fair enough. I don't know much about either of them beyond their music.
Edited on Fri Dec-05-08 04:17 PM by redqueen
I stupidly assigned a characteristic I've noticed that many of his fans share onto him. Mea culpa.
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eyepaddle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #25
29. Do our coments count as a "jinx?"
;)
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eyepaddle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 04:16 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. Now hold on a second,
Edited on Fri Dec-05-08 04:26 PM by eyepaddle
I'm sorry, but I think I a going to have to disagree with you for (what I think is) the first time in my four years on DU; how does technical skill translate into arrogance? I've never heard Joe pan any other musician--and have heard him praise plenty of non-whiz kids. The Edge and Curt Cobain spring readily to mind. Yngwie is a bit of an asshole, but I've always just gottent the feeling that it's more of a "RocK Star Syndrome" than any competition with other musicians.

Differnt things sound good to differnt people, but folks--especially on this board--LOVE to hammer fast guitar players. I've never been quite sure where the animosity comes from though, I happen to like that kind of music, and I never hear it anywhere but my own stereo. It seems like it'd be pretty easy to avoid for a non-fan.

C'est la vie.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 04:18 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. No... you're right... I screwed up.
I've known too many douchebag Satriani fans is all, and unfairly transferred the characteristic they shared onto him.

Sorry about that. :blush:
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eyepaddle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. It's all cool, I suppose it might be a good exercise for everybody to try and defend
music they DON'T like every now and then!

I can't help it--I like listening to, and playiing fast guitar, and from this side of the argument there is never a shortage of people to point out the technique /= talent, who can be a tad pompous about it.

And in all honesty, I know that is a two way street. There are plenty of shred guitar fans who will dismiss anything without a lot 32nds and pinch harmonics in it--usually in juvenille, and often profane terms!

As they say, I guess it depends on which ox is getting gored.

:hi:
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. Perhaps it also depends on the makeup of the group
having the discussion... where I was more used to having these conversations, there were mostly anti-tappers... so maybe the few people who rated it highly felt ganged up on and resorted to tantrum throwing... who knows?
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dkofos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
20. He is my absolute guitar hero!!
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
21. There are only 12 pitches in the western scale.
Edited on Fri Dec-05-08 02:55 PM by originalpckelly
It's easy to understand how out of millions of songs, there are similarities, especially when there is the same chord progression going on.

It's not the entire melody, just section A.

Is this intentional? Almost certainly not. Copyright law must contemplate innocent duplication, as it's bound to happen with so few pitches and music in the same time signature else wise.
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #21
33. I forget - wasn't that George Harrison's defense?
I know he lost the lawsuit, though.
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. However this comes out,
there must be a provision for innocent duplication in our copyright laws. I mean, it is bound to happen and I can see a situation where artists would be afraid to release something for fear of stepping on a landmine.

Copyright needs to be rewritten to also provide for a standard system of compensation when a so-called violation occurs, so that artists don't face unlimited liability for a recording. Even if it is decided by a court that Coldplay copied this song, should this man receive anything more than a normal licensing fee plus a nominal penalty? I don't see why he should have the rights to all the profits from the recording.
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GReedDiamond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #34
45. Just curious...
...have you ever written/published an original piece of music? I have, and it is a very difficult and expensive undertaking, especially for a non-mainstream indie artist like myself. And, if I were to have my worked infringed, I'd have a whole lot harder time than Joe Satriani in bringing suit against the thief, especially if the thief was a high end corporate darling such as the highly overrated and thoroughly pretentious band, Coldplay.

"Innocent duplication"? Exactly how would such a defense against copyright infringement be determined? Should the court rule something like, "well, those Coldplay boys are such nice, decent fellows, and after all, they said they didn't steal the song on purpose, it was just an innocent mistake, so we'll let them off this time, and after plaintiff gets a token payoff, Coldplay may continue to market and sell Mr. Satriani's musical composition at no further cost to defendant." I'm sorry, that's effin ridiculous.

I like George Harrison as much as anybody, but he deserved to have the judgment against him for his "unconscious" ripoff of "He's So Fine." Unsconscious or not, if Satriani wins his case, Coldplay should pay, however much it is determined that plaintiff was damaged by defendant's intellectual property theft/copyright infringement, and if they continue to market and sell their product with the stolen material, they should continue to pay for the privilege of doing so, or reach a settlement that rewards defendant a satisfactory amount.
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #45
46. There have been clear cases of ripoff one of which I will use as a negative to prove the positive...
Edited on Sat Dec-06-08 08:03 PM by originalpckelly
Timbaland used a piece of music, a chiptune called Acidjazzed Evening, in the creation of Do It. It was proved that he had downloaded the song and the piece used is an exact duplicate of the song with an delay effect added. It is a clear example of copyright infringement, in which evidence supported the known and intentional infringement of Tempest's song Acidjazzed Evening.

It is an innocent duplication, of a very bland and indistinct melody. The arrangement of the two songs is different, the melody in one is played by a guitar, and in the other it's a vocal. And the melody of Satriani's work is not exactly the same as Coldplay's, it suggests that it's not an exact duplication.

The chord progression is also indistinct, and the instruments playing it are different.

Put yourself in the other position, what if you wrote something that someone else did on accident? Are you absolutely certain the melody you wrote in your composition is not duplicated unknown to yourself in other works? What if someone sued you for it, for all the profits you made off of it? But you didn't steal it, you really honestly accidentally wrote the same thing.

There cannot be a liability landmine or it will kill creativity.

I write music, but even though I merely attempt to be professional, I've had no success yet. I'm afraid one day I'll write something on accident that someone else wrote. I mean if the only definition of copyright is a melody that's almost similar and the same chord progression, then it's going to happen.

There are many dimensions to a piece of music, and those various dimensions should be considered in copyright.
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Danger Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 04:16 PM
Response to Original message
26. Coldplay = pretentious douchebags with limited talent.
They've had a few songs that were mildly enjoyable, but overall, they're a good cure for insomnia. They're a poor man's U2 or Radiohead, lacking the power of the former and the creativity of the latter.

So I hope Satriani takes em to the cleaners.
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #26
35. Their music is typically not complicated, I listen to it...
and while their arrangements are quite good, the actual musical content is thin. Just a bunch of chords and moderately catchy melodies. They're trying to act like the Beatles, but the Beatles were amazing because of their innate capacity to create novel melodies.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #35
36. How are they trying to act like The Beatles?
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #36
38. Funny clothes, grainy videos with weird movements, and despite their alternative label...
if they ever showed up on a real alternative channel, they'd get their asses kicked. They're a pop act, trying pathetically to be a Baroque Pop act to earn a highbrow street cred, not because they have a real infatuation with classical music, but because other rock artists have done that in the past. Their music has none of the touches of classical music, like Eleanor Rigby does, which is what I feel Viva la Vida is modeled on.
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #38
39. And I forgot, their singer sounds like he used to ride the small bus to school.
Come on dude, that's the most annoying accent I've ever heard. Fareign field?
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #39
42. I don't pay nearly as much attention to them as you do.
Hence my lack of care. :)
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #38
41. I wasn't aware that they didn't know they were a pop act.
Or that Viva la Vida was modeled on Elanor Rigby. I'm sure I've heard it, just don't remember it.

They're pop. I don't get why people pay so much attention to it.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #26
37. What makes you say they're pretentious douchebags?
I'm just curious. I listen to music, I don't study personalities. If some artist is an asshole and that gets out in the media then I might find out about it, but usually not.

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Danger Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #37
43. Their music isn't pretentious, it's just bland.
However, Chris Martin is painfully pretentious.
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ghostsofgiants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
44. Guitar playing robot sues most boring band in the world.
Insert yawn here.
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