Coldplay denys plagiarism accusation

Tue Dec 9, 2008 3:38pm EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - British rock band Coldplay on Tuesday denied virtuoso guitarist Joe Satriani's accusation that it ripped off one of his instrumentals, saying any similarities were "entirely coincidental.

Satriani filed a copyright infringement suit in Los Angeles last Thursday, claiming that Coldplay's hit single "Viva La Vida" incorporates "substantial original portions" of his 2004 tune "If I Could Fly."

The 52-year-old guitarist is seeking a jury trial, damages and "any and all profits" attributable to the alleged copyright infringement.

But Coldplay, whose soaring atmospheric tunes have been unfavorably compared to those of Irish rock band U2, brushed off the allegations.

"If there are any similarities between our two pieces of music, they are entirely coincidental, and just as surprising to us as to him," the band said in a posting on its website.

"Joe Satriani is a great musician, but he did not write or have any influence on the song 'Viva La Vida.' We respectfully ask him to accept our assurances of this and wish him well with all future endeavors."

Satriani sued Coldplay a day after the band received seven Grammy nominations, second only to rapper Lil Wayne.

Among its mentions were nominations in the important record and song of the year categories for "Viva La Vida," which comes from the band's chart-topping album "Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends."

The song is credited to the band's four members, singer Chris Martin; bass player Guy Berryman; guitarist Johnny Buckland, and drummer Will Champion. The title was inspired by a painting by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

The Satriani track comes from his album "Is There Love in Space?"

(Reporting by Dean Goodman; editing by Philip Barbara)

<p>British rock band Coldplay arrives at the 2008 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles, in this June 1, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files</p>