Coldplay Responds to Joe Satriani Suit

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

After being sued last week upon allegations of plagiarism by guitarist Joe Satriani for using portions of his instrumental song “If I Could Fly” for their mega-hit “Viva La Vida,” Coldplay have been laying low.

After being sued last week upon allegations of plagiarism by guitarist Joe Satriani for using portions of his instrumental song “If I Could Fly” for their mega-hit “Viva La Vida,” Coldplay have been laying low. But amidst all the blog buzz and fans’ suspicion – with user comments ranging from cautious skepticism to dismissive condescension – the band announced via their Web site today that they are keeping their cool, as it were, and respectfully denying any acts of artistic infringement.

“With the greatest possible respect to Joe Satriani, we have now unfortunately found it necessary to respond publicly to his allegations,” stated the band. “If there are any similarities between our two pieces of music, they are entirely coincidental, and just as surprising to us as to him. Joe Satriani is a great musician, but he did not write or have any influence on the song ‘Viva La Vida.’ We respectfully ask him to accept our assurances of this and wish him well with all future endeavors.” Judging from Satriani’s interview last week with Music Radar, in which he described how the incident “felt like a dagger went right through my heart,” it might be a lost cause for Coldplay to think the suit would be shrugged off as pure happenstance. If the dispute does reach court, it will, at the very least, be interesting to see how such accusations would hold up under copyright law. Take into account Coldplay’s recent stack of Grammy nominations for the very song in question, not to mention its enormous sales, and the argument quickly develops into quite the ethical quagmire.


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