Joe Satriani’s copyright infringement lawsuit against Coldplay and Capitol Records has been dismissed. As Rolling Stone reported last December, the Chickenfoot guitarist sued the band, arguing that “substantial original portions” of his 2004 song “If I Could Fly” were used in Coldplay’s Grammy-winning Song of the Year, “Viva La Vida.” Satriani’s lawyer confirmed to Billboard that the case had been dismissed but wouldn’t reveal whether — as suspected — a financial settlement was reached between the two parties. Under the terms of the dismissal, Coldplay won’t have to admit to any wrongdoing.
According to court documents posted at Justia News, Coldplay and Capitol Records first submitted papers to have to case dismissed on September 3rd, but an error resulted in the dismissal being refiled on September 9th. On September 14th, the trial’s log reads “ORDER upon Stipulation dismiss action pursuant to FRCP 41,” or Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 41. As written in FRCP 41, “With certain exceptions, an action may also be dismissed at any time by agreement of the parties,” which seems to lend credence to the settlement theory. All the court documents reveal, however, is that both Coldplay and Satriani were responsible for their own legal fees.
“I spent so long writing the song, thinking about it, loving it, nursing it, and then finally recording it and standing on stages the world over playing it — and then somebody comes along and plays the exact same song and calls it their own,” Satriani said last December, while Coldplay countered by swearing that they’d never heard “If I Could Fly,” which they also said “lacked originality.”
One possible reason the settlement details are being kept under wraps: As Rolling Stone previously reported, Yusuf (Cat Stevens) was also pondering a lawsuit against the band, claiming his 1973 song “Foreigner Suite” also bore resemblance to “Viva La Vida.” Asked whether he was considering a lawsuit, Yusuf said “it depends on how well Satriani does.”
• Coldplay Say Satriani “Lacked Originality” As “Viva La Vida” Fight Hits Court
• Joe Satriani Says Coldplay “Figured This Little Guitar Player Guy Will Leave Them Alone”
• Joe Satriani Sues Coldplay For “Viva La Vida” Plagiarism