Coldplay/Joe Satriani Lawsuit Dismissed

Coldplay and Joe Satriani can now stop fighting over whose song is more unoriginal and can just agree to disagree because the guitarist’s lawsuit against the British rock band has been dismissed.

Satriani filed a copyright infringement suit against Coldplay back on Dec.4, claiming that the band’s 2008 “Viva La Vida” tune stole “substantial original portions” of his 2004 track “If I Could Fly.” The Chickenfoot guitarist’s suit demanded “any and all profits attributable to the alleged copyright infringement.”

Coldplay responded to the suit by writing, “If there are any similarities between our two pieces of music, they are entirely coincidental, and just as surprising to us as to him,” in a statement on the band’s Web site. Chris Martin and co. then filed a response in federal court saying that Satriani’s song “lacks originality” and shouldn’t receive copyright protection – and that any similarities between the tunes weren’t enough to warrant damages.

Photo: Debbie VanStory /
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Irvin, Calif.

According to court documents dated Sept. 14 and filed in United States District Court Central District of California by Judge Dean Pregerson, the case of plaintiff Joe Satriani against defendants Chris Martin, Jonathan Buckland, Guy Berryman, William Champion and Capitol Records has been dismissed with prejudice.

“Based on the parties’ stipulation for dismissal with prejudice, pursuant to FRCP 41(a)(1)(A)(ii), the Court hereby dismisses the action with prejudice. Each party shall bear its own costs and attorney fees.”

According to Cornell University Law School’s Web site, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1)(A)(ii) states that “the plaintiff may dismiss an action without a court order by filing a stipulation of dismissal signed by all parties who have appeared.” In other words, the filing indicates Coldplay and Santriani came to an undisclosed agreement.

Photo: Paul Parks
Guitar god Joe Satriani plays Humphrey’s By The Bay in San Diego.

According to ye ol’, the term “prejudice” in all that legal speak mumbo jumbo can be explained by the following: “A case dismissed with prejudice means it can not ever be brought again.”

In May, Yusuf, the folk singer formally known as Cat Stevens, accused Coldplay of ripping off his 1973 song “Foreigner Suite.”

When asked by Reuters whether he planned on also taking legal action, Yusuf said “it depends on how well Satriani does.”

The following month Yusuf said he was OK with any similarities between “Viva La Vida” and his song.

“I stand by what I said. They did copy my song but I don’t think they did it on purpose,” Yusuf said, according to the Daily Express. “I have even copied myself without even knowing I have done it. I’ll write down what I think is a good melody and realise it’s the same as something I have already done.”

“Viva La Vida” was Coldplay’s first number-one single, reaching the top of the charts in the U.K. and U.S. In February it also snagged the band a Grammy Award for Song of the Year at the 51st Grammy Awards.

Click here for Cornell University Law School’s Web site.

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