The Songs Coldplay Didn't Write?

from the simple-coincidences dept

The What Is Fair Use? blog points us to a fascinating story, suggesting that one of the popular songs from the new Coldplay album has a nearly identical melody to a song by another band. This was brought to the world's attention by that other band, who put together this great YouTube video cheekily comparing the two:
There are a few ironies here, including the fact that the original song, by the band Creaky Boards, is called "The Songs I Didn't Write." The band also points out that the Coldplay version is being used in an iTunes commercial -- even though it's about the Crusades. The Creaky Boards version is about listening to music in your room -- which, indeed, seems like it would make for a better iTunes commercial.

Still, the good news is that this doesn't appear to be descending into legal threats or anything of that nature. Instead, the video concludes with a rather cheeky: "I wish Coldplay the best of luck. If they ever want to collaborate, I've got some microphones we could use in my bedroom." Coldplay, for its part, "totally refutes" the claims of the band, noting that the song was written well before the Creaky Boards performance in New York where the band thinks Coldplay's front man, Chris Martin, attended (the band also notes Martin was in London that night). It also notes the differences in the songs, and suggests that it's a "simple coincidence" that the songs sound similar.

Indeed, the guy from Creaky Boards later not only retracted his accusation, but suggested that perhaps both bands were actually "inspired" by the "Fairy Theme" in the Legends of Zelda. In a world of strict copyright, of course, that might make both songs "illegal," though I doubt anyone would think that would be the optimal outcome.

Of course, Martin also once admitted: "We're definitely good, but I don't think you can say we're that original. I regard us as being incredibly good plagiarists." The thing is, part of the point we keep trying to make around here is that, for the most part, that's true of just about everyone. It's the overly aggressive use of copyright law that prevents that sort of "goodness" from showing up. Oh, and it's also worth mentioning, that this little story has definitely increased the profile of The Creaky Boards -- proving one of the points we recently made about plagiarism. Even if the plagiarist is "bigger" than you, the original creator can use that to their advantage as well.
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Filed Under: coldplay, copyright, creaky boards, music, plagiarism, songs


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  1. identicon
    Omnie, 1 Jul 2008 @ 2:08pm

    I could barely hear any similarity.

    You want to see real similarity? Check out the song Death on Two Legs by Queen then listen to the song Funny Little Frog by Belle & Sebastian. I'm no expert, but Funny Little Frog sounds identical to the intro from Death on Two Legs.

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