So watching Coldplay win song of the year the other night I got to thinking, how could they do that considering they ripped the song off from Joe Satriani? There were a few sites that had a Satriani song up and then the Coldplay song and then they had them lined up one on top of the other and it was remarkable that the melodies were identical albeit for a note or two at the end of the second line. I know there is a lawsuit pending or it may have been settled out of court but since when do we as a community recognize theft by giving someone an award for it?
This is just hearsay, but someone made a comment in the chat this morning that Joe's lawyers were trying to have Coldplay served during the Grammys but were unsuccessful...we'll see how the issue pans out. Do you think Coldplay had ever heard of Joe Satriani? LOL!
Bret, yes. The story goes they went to see him live, got to meet him after the show and said we love your songs and playing. So in answer to your question, yes. If you heard the two clips back to back your jaw would drop.
They played that song because it was up for the song award and the votes I guess had already been casted before the lawsuit became public. Though I felt them playing it the other night was in bad taste....
Personally I DO NOT get Coldplay and the performance they tried to pass off the other night was awful.
For those that just want the bearkdown here is the 2nd page of the article and Joe's words about it:
"I did everything I could to avoid a court case"
Satriani stresses that his motives are ruled by artistic purity and an overriding sense of right and wrong.
"Everybody's assumes I'm trying to go after these guys in Coldplay, as if I'm doing this with malice," he says "That's the furthest thing from my mind. I'm just doing what I need to do as an artist, to protect what's mine, to protect those feelings I put down in song.
"I did everything I could to avoid a court case with this situation. But Coldplay didn't want to talk about it. They just wanted this whole thing to go away. Maybe they figured this little guitar player guy will leave them alone after a while, I don't know.
"But we're talking about a piece of art that I created, and that's something I feel is important. I think everybody should feel that way."
And now, Satriani's team will ask a jury to decide.
Good thing Robert Johnson wasn't alive during the 70's to sue Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin among others for his songs. Some great music came of his influence. If you read carefully in the linear notes of John Mayer's Continuum (In my opinion one of the best albums of the last 5 years), he states "Eric Clapton knows I steal from him and is still cool with it."
Some people hide their influences better than others. When I read about this, I had to ask myself...what if Coldplay sued all the bands that have blatantly ripped them off in recent years?
You seem to know quite a bit about these things MJ.
Would you say there is a difference between imitating style and actually copying melodies?
And secondly, have you researched what constitutes plagiarism of entertainment or intellectual properties? Mainly, do you have a legal understanding about what a judge or jury uses as a guideline or precedence to determine the difference between copying a style and actually using some one's intellectual property? I mean, there are only 12 notes, so where is the line drawn. Do you know?
I certainly hope our industry, especially those in the next generation, will take some time to school themselves on these matters.
I'm really sorry Bret. I really don't mean to offend anyone, and I certainly didn't want to come off condescending, or imply that I have any expert opinion on copyright infringement, or anything else for that matter. I did watch all the video's of the two songs smashed up, but I didn't formulate any kind of opinion before I found this one. I do see the similarities between the two melody's, but I just don't see how a measly consecutive 3-4 note match constitutes plagiarism. Were they influenced? Highly probable, possibly subconsciously. I mean, I just don't see the point on raining on a widely respected band's parade because someone is suing them. IMO to hear them being trashed before the right to trial is a little harsh. This type of thing could be done between so many songs throughout the history of music. Is the answer to go around and sue each other? I do feel better after reading Joe's statements. Since he's not malice, I'm sure he'll give the money to a music school or something constructive...
No need to be sorry. My statements were general in nature and just a call to make sure we all hone our knowledge on copyright law and the history of what constitutes plagiarism. I didn't offer an opinion in this thread one way or another as to the merits of this particular case other than to say that they are very similar. People seem to have very strong opinions on each side of the issue. In the long run, those opinions don't matter one iota. It's the basis of law and precedence that will determine the resolution of this case. I'm not a legal expert either but the only thing I will say about these two songs is that they are very similar.
Please don't feel like you offended anyone. I am glad you shared your opinion. These reason I responded as I did to your post is because you likened the similarities in Coldplay's song to Satriani as a style imitation.
Very true, Bret. There is no opinion higher than the courts! And there is definitely no arguing that the two pieces are very similar. Upon reading again, my first statement was very vague. This particular case is getting tons of coverage because of the parties involved. Prince got convicted in early January for stealing an Italian Duo's song, which was on the news in Europe, but this story has been left in the shadows of the headlines here in USA. I hope the Coldplay boys can take it like George Harrison did and write a song like "Sue Me, Sue You Blues" :0)
A pretty common melody actually, and over similar chord changes. I am not a fan of Coldplay, nor do I dislike them. I'm just not familiar with their music. I do have respect for Joe Satriani as a player, although, IMHO, he hasn't done much to inspire since his first couple of albums. Again, I'll say, this melody is pretty common. You can hear it all over records of many different genres. It just happened to fall on similar chord changes on completely different songs. Nothing groundbreaking about it. Sorry, Satch, but you'll have to get over yourself! *weedly weedly weedly*