A lawsuit was filed against Nickelback in which Snowblind Revival lead singer Kirk Johnston claimed that Chad Kroeger & Co. plagiarized his own song for “Rockstar.” However, the lawsuit has been dismissed.
The US District Judge Robert Pitman has ruled that no similarity can be found between Nickelback’s 2005 hit “Rockstar” and Snowblind Revival’s 2001 song “Rock Star” – and that there is no proof that Nickelback was aware of the other song, Billboard reports. Judge Pitman wrote in his ruling:
“Stated simply, they do not sound alike. Where both songs evoke similar themes, they are rendered dissimilar through the vivid detail of the original expression in Nickelback’s lyrics.”
The ruling argues that Johnston’s lawsuit “borders on the absurd” upon closer inspection of some of the claims, and the only thing “Rockstar” and “Rock Star” have in common are “outlandish stereotypes and images associated with being a huge, famous, rock star”, which can’t be monopolized by any single songwriter.
In the original lawsuit, Johnston had claimed that Nickelback had direct insight into the master tapes of his song “Rock Star” which Snowblind Revival recorded in 2001, and which he submitted to Roadrunner Records’ parent companies Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group.
The Snowblind Revival frontman had further claimed that “a substantial amount of the music in [Nickelback’s 2005 song] ‘Rockstar’ is copied from my original composition ‘Rock Star’ – the tempo, song form, melodic structure, harmonic structures, and lyrical themes.”
Responding to the original lawsuit, Nickelback said that Johnston could only point out that the two songs shared the same theme without naming any particular lyrical details, and that the melodies and style of “Rockstar” and “Rock Star” hardly match. The Canadian band also pointed out that Johnston couldn’t name any record label executives with whom he allegedly met concerning the “Rock Star” demo.