Coldplay Respond To Plagiarism Accusation


Recently, Chris Martin addressed Joe Satriani’s 2008 plagiarism accusation in a conversation with Mojo magazine. He clarified that he discovered a chord sequence he admired in a Javier Bardem film and incorporated it into Coldplay’s song “Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall.”

Martin got  permission from Allen’s team before using the sequence. When asked about concerns regarding credit due to previous issues with “Viva La Vida,” Martin expressed that the accusations were hurtful, as multiple people, including Cat Stevens temporarily, accused Coldplay of stealing the same bars.

“No. That situation was really… not very nice for us. Four or five different people [including, temporarily, Cat Stevens] said that we’d stolen the same two bars. Everyone who knows us knows that we don’t work like that.”

He stated that Coldplay does not engage in music theft and found the situation emotionally challenging due to the criticism received. The matter was resolved out of court in September 2009.

“What was particularly upsetting about that was the level of vitriol… I find this topic hard to navigate because it makes me so emotional. All I will say in closing this is that I don’t steal people’s music, and I never will [the case was settled out of court in September ’09].”

In December 2008, Joe Satriani filed a lawsuit against Coldplay in a U.S. court, alleging that their song “Viva La Vida” plagiarized his song “If I Could Fly” from his 2004 album “Is There Love In Space?” Satriani sought damages and profits from what he claimed was copyright infringement. Coldplay responded with a statement acknowledging Satriani with respect but asserting that any similarities between the songs were purely coincidental and surprising to them as well.

“With the greatest possible respect to Joe Satriani, if there are any similarities between our two pieces of music, they are entirely coincidental and just as surprising to us as to him.”

Following the filing, Coldplay requested a jury trial after Satriani’s legal team presented their case. On September 14, 2009, Judge Dean D. Pregerson dismissed the lawsuit, stipulating that each party would bear their own legal costs. The dismissal strongly suggested that the matter was likely settled out of court, possibly involving Coldplay making a financial arrangement with Satriani. The case highlighted the complexities of copyright disputes, where direct evidence of copying can be challenging to prove definitively.

In related news, Maynard James Keenan previously unloaded on Coldplay.