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Coldplay Say Satriani "Lacked Originality" As "Viva La Vida" Fight Hits Court

April 7, 2009 12:54 PM ET

As the Battle of "Viva la Vida" hits the legal system, Coldplay have once again denied copycatting the riff from Joe Satriani's "If I Could Fly" for the title track off the band's latest album. In papers filed yesterday in a Los Angeles federal court, according to Billboard, Coldplay's lawyers argued that the similarities between "Viva la Vida" and "If I Could Fly" weren't enough to warrant a lawsuit. The band's legal team also stated that Satriani's instrumental "lacked originality," and thus shouldn't be covered by copyright law, therefore preventing "Viva La Vida" from violating any copyrights.

The statements in court echo the band's own words they posted on their Website after Satriani first accused them of ripping off his song. "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 the song 'Viva la Vida,' " Chris Martin and company said in December 2008. Despite assurances that they'd never heard the song, Satriani and his team continued on with their lawsuit, which seeks "any and all profits" from the track. "Viva la Vida" went on to win Record of the Year at the Grammys, something Satriani was sarcastically hoping would happen.

After Coldplay's remarks in court, Satriani's lawyer Howard King responded that the argument was emblematic of the defense in copyright cases. He also hinted that the new Chickenfoot guitarist would be willing to settle the matter out of court, a signal that either Coldplay wants to put the whole copyright incident behind them or Satriani thinks his case won't stand up in front of a jury.

Related Stories:

Coldplay Respond to Satriani Plagiarism Suit: "Just As Surprising To Us"
Joe Satriani Says Coldplay "Figured This Little Guitar Player Guy Will Leave Them Alone"
Joe Satriani Sues Coldplay For "Viva La Vida" Plagiarism

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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