In court papers filed in Los Angeles on December 4, 2008, guitarist Joe Satriani says Coldplay's song "Vida La Vida" used "substantial original portions" of his 2004 instrumental "If I Could Fly," from his album Is There Love in Space?
Satriani, 52, wants a jury trial and is seeking damages and "any and all profits" for the alleged plagiarism.
"I felt like a dagger went right through my heart," Satriani told MusicRadar.com's Joe Bosso on December 6. "It hurt so much. The second I heard it, I knew it was 'If I Could Fly.'"
As it turned out, Satriani wasn't the only one who noticed the similarity between "If I Could Fly" and "Viva La Vida."
"Almost immediately, from the minute their song came out, my email box flooded with people going, 'Have you heard this song by Coldplay? They ripped you off man.' I mean, I couldn't tell you how many emails I received.
"Everybody noticed the similarities between the songs. It's pretty obvious. It's as simple as that -- when you listen to a song and you say, 'Wow, that's a real rip-off.'
What makes the situation especially painful for Satriani is that "If I Could Fly" isn't just any song. It's a composition he'd been laboring over for well over 10 years before he recorded it.
"That's what really hurts about this whole thing. That I spent so long writing the song, thinking about it, loving it, nursing it, and then finally recording it and standing on stages the world over playing it - and then somebody comes along and plays the exact same song and calls it their own."
To read more of this interview with Joe Satriani, click here.
Click here to listen to the two songs and compare for yourself.