12/8/08

Doesn't Look Good for Coldplay

As you may or may not have heard, Coldplay has been getting sued left and right over copyright infringement in regards to their hit song "Viva La Vida." The newest 'suitor is Joe Satriani, an accomplished guitarist who excels at instrumentally focused melodies. Satriani claims that his song "If I could Fly" was infringed upon by Coldplay.

I was clearly skeptical at first; after all, who wouldn't sue a major band just to get some Benjamins. But after hearing the two songs played side-by-side, I'm beginning to take Satriani's side.

You decide for yourself, and let me know what you think.


***Update***
Speaking of copyright infringements, EMI had Youtube pull all the Coldplay vs. Satriani.  so, best I can do is post separate versions of Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" and Satriani's "If I Could Fly." 


Viva La Vida



If I Could Fly (Go to 0:50)



***Update***:
I've heard a lot about this other video, so I thought I'd throw it up here. Hope this assists with the "Is Coldplay Copying Others Work?" discussion.





***Update***
Satriani speaks about lawsuit here




If you're into funny pictures, check out
and tell me what you think.


70 comments:

  1. Ah Coldplay ROCKS! Give them a break!

    jess
    www.anonymity.cz.tc

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  2. do you know how i know you're gay? you like coldplay.

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  3. Bababooey to y'all.

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  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUhFLiw6h6s
    creaky boards??! well the lyric melody anyways..

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  5. YES! your right it does sound WAYYY better mixed together haha!

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  6. sounds terrible mixed. probably because coldplay sucks and satrini is among the gods of guitar.

    emo or god among men? you choose.

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  7. Nope. It's hard to describe, but the songs have different feels to them. I don't think they copied off of him. In fact, if I had just listened to the two without having read this article or the words in the video, I would have thought that HE borrowed from THEM. It seems innocuous perhaps, but being a habitual song-adapter myself, trust me that it's just all wrong and backward. They did not copy off of him, I'd bet on it. The beginnings of the two songs are similar, sure, but not in the way that they would have to be for it to constitute infringement. That beginning chord progression is pretty common. The rest just doesn't fit.

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  8. Hey All:
    I appreciate the enthusiasm in posts, but lets keep it somewhat decent... This isn't a 4chan.

    But yea- I think Satriani and Coldplay should come to this arrangement: Let Satriani tour with Coldplay as lead guitar. He'd make everything sound better.

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  9. Do you know how many songs you can do this with? When I Come Around - Greenday and Glicerine - Bush... Sucked Out - Superdrag and Under the Bridge - Chili Peppers... There's a bunch.. They're called chord progressions. You can do other things on top of them to make them your own. If satriani (who is unbelievable at guitar) called his song Live the Life and the words were the same or something, or the verse, chorus patterns were the same, then there'd be a problem. Or if coldplay directly sampled him without acquiring the rights....

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  10. i wonder if kraftwerk is going to sue them for their song talk. coldplay totally ripped off their melody. see for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0rYO1GDyis&feature=related

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  11. ripoff , shocked and distraught , but..coldplay rocks. sach's instrumental shit doesnt sell records anymore so coldplay rocks

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  12. Very interesting. Good article. Thanks for the information.

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  13. both are shit

    good observation though

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  14. @danzie: coldplay gave full ackomplishments (sp) to kraftwerk, good song by the way, computer love

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  15. Thieves... and Coldplay bores me to tears!

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  16. Unless there is proof that Coldplay *knowingly* copied the melody, then it is a moot point, I would hope anyway. Just because some song sounds like yours doesn't mean they didn't create it entirely independently of you. It's impractical for an artist to compare his new melody to every other melody in existence. Accidents happen - to be clear, I'm not suggesting THIS is an accident as I have no possible way of knowing - but if one can't prove it wasn't an accident, then there should be no penalty to Coldplay.

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  17. God I'm tired of this shit. There's only so many notes to be played. They both use a similar chord progression, but they are obviously influenced by different things.

    So, no.

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  18. How did the similar Red Hot Chili Peppers/Tom Petty dispute ever pan out anyways?

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  19. I think this id rediculous and both these bands should combine because them together sounds really good!

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  20. good observation.

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  21. They are close enough for this to not be accidental.
    Changing 3 cords doesn't make it original.

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  22. this sucks.
    they used to be ok.
    now they suck even harder.

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  23. i dont think they're THAT similar.

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  24. I play music and jam all the time and can say for sure that every song, especially in the relatively narrow diversity of rock music, shares chord progressions with dozens of other songs.

    I think the similarity in the melodies is coincidental. Whatever you think of Coldplay, they are prolific enough as songwriters that they have no need to go ripping people off.

    As many other posters have said already, this kind of shit happens all the time. Get over it.

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  25. dndndndn
    they sound ammazng tgther!
    i think the guitarist should be part of the band!

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  26. anybody that plays music will borrow elements from their influences. this is no reason to bash coldplay. i say that and i'm not even a fan, but anyway. its a lot of fun discovering things like this. for instance, check out this youtube video of a/b comparisons of daft punk songs:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJPdVVOmbz4 its rad

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  27. the thing is that its not just a basic chord progressions, its an intricate guitar riff written by satriani.

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  28. It's completely ridiculous. Even if the too melodies were identical, I wouldn't buy it. It's a pretty simple melody, and it's probably been used, no kidding, hundreds of times before.

    People need to get over this: THERE ARE ONLY SO MANY CHORD PROGRESSIONS. Unless, of course, you start messing with rhythm, which most bands don't do much. And even then things are somewhat finite.

    And most melodies are fairly simple, including this one. Especially this one. So of COURSE it's going to be used over and over again. Get over it and stop trying to suck a quick buck out of famous people.

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  29. I wrote a program that creates random songs, and copyrights it. Eventually nobody can make another shitty song again! Muaha ha ha.

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  30. If the chords progression are identical you can pretty much put any melody or solo on top, as long as they are part of the same scale of the chord your are playing. I would still argue that these these songs are different songs, because the melody do not match at all at the end. Remembering the Queen vs. Vanilla Ice lawsuit, vanilla ice won because the last note was different. In this cause the a multiple notes that don't match not to mention that the arrangement is very different, similar the vanilla ice case. The fact is this is a pretty generic song, with a simple melody and chords, should anyone be allowed to take ownership for this. Blame Disney for starting this whole copywriter mess anyways :P. I don't think there is much of a case here.

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  31. They sound really close to eachother, but I still love the the coldplay version- But maybe they should have given credit

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  32. Just seems like a coincidence

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  33. If you could sue for "chord progression theft" there would be no rock music. Cat Scratch Fever is Smoke on the Water, Inna Gadda Da Vida is Sunshine of Your Love. Not to mention, you know, the entirety of Jazz and Blues and thusly the foundation of American music.

    Avril Lavigne jacking the lyrics as well as the melody from The Rubinoos is much more sue-worthy, for example, but this case is more like the time John Fogarty got sued for sounding like CCR.

    Satriani has a right to protect his property, but his time would be better spent in the studio than in the courtrooms.

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  34. So like 20 secs sounds the same, how about the rest? With so many songs out, there is bound to be a tad bit of overlap now and then

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  35. As a musician, which I'm sure many of you are, I cannot see the problem w/ this. Building on the shoulders of giants or something to that effect is how it's put I believe. There have been many times as a drummer that I play a something that I believe to be original and it turns out to be something that I heard stoned or drunk or both that I expanded on. That's what music is ... or engineering or design or anything ... We take advances and we build upon them. Now, don't get me wrong ... I'm not establishing that it's o.k. to take someone else's work as your own, but this is a simple case of things that sound the same, but have totally different perspectives. Satriani is a god in guitarland, and Coldplay is a pop something or another that my little sister seems to enjoy ... but the point is not that a single riff sounds similiar, it's that people enjoy the music regardless of where it came from. Fuck ... If(insert name of unlikeable person here) created a decent song, I'd listen, if only once. Point here is it's a common mistake and sometimes not a mistake but a coincidence b/c there are only so many notes and way more musicians out there.

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  36. Satriani's piece sucks...so no

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  37. So, "Talk Talk" off X&Y has nothing to do with "Computer Love" by Kraftwerk?

    Please tell me that Coldplay isn't knowingly lifting melodies. Please.

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  38. you should check out this story. it is even more of a blatant cold play rip off of another band this story is a little older but shows that chris marten was in the audience of a sxsw show of another band and the song has the same melody and vocal pattern

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  39. oops link for above comment if anyone cares

    http://dismissedblog.com/2008/11/11/coldplay-you-have-been-dismissed/

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  40. i well choose coldplay mainly because im gay and im man enough to be one unlike you pussy hetrosexuals who like to do it the proper way becuase your afraid of god. mainly i wouldn't really care. music is bound to sound the same eventually i mean you only have the range of sounds that we can hear to make music from. i guess music is dieing because all the old farts well keep saying it's theirs becasue they're gredy and all the new bands will die in the lime light so whatever.
    (R.I.P.
    Music)
    wow i never thought i would be saying that well it was bound to happen some day. thank you all my gays

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  41. Why is viva la vida being played at a higher pitch than what it really is?

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  42. I feel no loyalty to either of these bands. If this were two complicated jazz songs played next to each other, then maybe I would buy into it. The fact of the matter is that they are two I, IV, V chord progressions--the most common progression in music, and the base of probably 95% of pop music. Ask your music teacher. The only thing both of these guys are guilty of is lack of imagination.

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  43. << So, "Talk Talk" off X&Y has nothing to do with "Computer Love" by Kraftwerk? >>

    If you bought the CD and read the liner notes instead of downloading the song you would have seen that Kraftwerk received credit.

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  44. There are millions of bands in the world. don't you think that somewhere at some time someone will sound like someone else? The similarities are coincidence.

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  45. Good artists copy, great artists steal

    -Picasso

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  46. Just like Avril Lavigne and the Rubinoos, it will all be transposed to the same key and then reduced to mathematics...and like Avril Lavigne, who lost...so will Coldplay.

    One would have to be an ardent fan of Coldplay and tone deaf not to hear it.

    Also, just as a reminder...there are two types of copyright infringement, intentional and unintentional, it only takes a few notes (5) to be copyright infringement in general.

    Satriani has a strong case.

    Whoever is Coldplay's musicologist (like Avril Lavigne's)should be fired for allowing this one to get by.

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  47. sorry together sounds like a train wreck! Also to bad bands can make the whole song work once they have a killer melody, take skill.

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  48. It's clear, Coldplay think they are the greatest band ever yet still have to copy musicianship that far exceeds them!

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  49. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=763vmCrRBDg

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  50. I'm Joe Satriani and I'm homosexualDecember 9, 2008 at 10:09 AM

    Satriani is retarded

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  51. coldplay was good, then they made 3 albums that sounded the same, now they rip off other artists.

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  52. Satriani should record this with Coldplay and finally show the world what a real guitarist and a popular band can do together. Did I mention that I hate what Santana has done over the years by playing boring guitar licks with popular singers. Satriani and Coldplay can do what the music world has been waiting for and finally kick Santana and his boring songs to the curb.

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  53. Cold Play, You have been Dismissed.

    dismissedblog.com/2008/11/11/coldplay-you-have-been-dismissed/

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  54. Whoever says this is "accidental" and "Ooooooohhhhh chord progressions are copied all the time " and "blah blah blah"....You are fucking idiot loser posers. Satriani knows his music. He knows not to sue someone if they use the same goddamn chord progression. He also knows that if someone happens to use the same chord progression, AND the same Beats per minute, AND the same motherfucking lead melody line with the exception of improv/fills licks 4 YEARS AFTER he wrote an original piece, he should sue the shit out of them. Enough of this "Chord changes are copied all the time" Very good you amazing musical theorists, you were able to share what little knowledge of music theory you had, now go back and actually listen to the lead melodies of the guitar vs the singer. Fuck's sake.....

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  55. Coldplay suck... kind of a lot. I know a lot of people that listen to coldplay... and their overall taste in music is questionable at best. It wouldn't surprise me that they copied Satriani... I mean he's a better musician than all of them, they just did it wrong and instead of making it their own they just blatantly copied it... shows how musically talented the members of coldplay are. God damn they suck. Long live Satriani!

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  56. Want Comedy? www.YouTube.com/twinztube. Best videos ever!

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  57. Woah.. same key,timing and chords.. bizzare..
    If Coldplay knew they got this tune from 'somewhere' im sure they wouldn't be dumb to copy it exactly. Satriani rocks too.. for coming out with this great riff.. but I totally dig Coldplay's version.

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  58. Well that sucks, first video has been pulled by EMI. Too bad really.

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  59. A lot of music is influenced by other music that came before and by great people. I can see how Joe Satriani would think that it was stolen, but I doubt Coldplay would outright copy material from another artist. But IF ANYTHING, Viva la Vida was INSPIRED by 8 key notes of 'If I Could Fly', and nothing more. The outcome of Coldplay's song has a completely different vibe and tone, not to mention the arrangement.

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  60. the song in very diffent!!!

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  61. in order for an intellectual property (ie copyright) lawsuit to actually be pertinent, every bit of said song/lyric must be in direct copying of the plaintiff's said song/lyric. It is so obvious that it is not a copy whatsoever. There are way more notes in Satriani's little clip @ 50 sec, than in any of coldplay's song.

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  62. Joe Satriani is an educated professional who can tell which cords and what rhythm was used in any song just by listening to them. Our of a million songs Coldplays tune sounds too familiar to his. Obviously Coldplay must have completely and orginally created his song, but it sounds like the song the people Moses was leading who built the golden cow statue were singing. Don't be surprised if the next song Coldplay sings is about how he talks about your sister behind her "gun sound".

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  63. Hmm, did anyone ever say anything about Pink pinching 'Fresh Garbage' by 60's band Spirit? Then there's the whole Led Zeppelin thing...

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