Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Satriani v. Martin et al: you be the judge

Apparently-legendary guitarist Joe Satriani claims that Coldplay ripped off "Viva la Vida" from his song "If I Could Fly" from 2004. Compare the two:


Infringement? Consider applying the "can-you-totally-sing-the-lyrics-over-the-other-guy's-song" test articulated by G. Arthur Martin in Washed-Up Guitar Noodler v. Biggest Band in the World.

Dicey. In 1970 George Harrison was found to infringe for close to the same degree of similarity (though this is pretty hard to gauge, which is why it should be left to the courts to decide arbitrarily) -- and he was a former Beatle who wrote "Something" and never named children after fruit, and thus might have found more sympathy with the court.

1 comment:

Will said...

There's a law joke in this post that is inexcusable and I have to apologize for it right off the bat. I fear I'm becoming what I hate.