Results for Viva La Vida

specials

Copyright Infringement

This week's feature is all about stealing…notes, that is. Throughout the history of recorded music, there have been a number of instances where one artist accuses another of plagiarism. As Jim and Greg discuss, creative thievery can be much more complicated than the bank kind. You have to consider issues of access, influence, song structure and production, not to mention greed and sour grapes.

So to wrap their heads around music copyright lawsuits, they first talk to attorney Charles Cronin about a recent lawsuit involving Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" and Joe Satriani's "If I Could Fly." Professor Cronin is a visiting fellow at Yale Law School and the manager of the Copyright Infringement Project at UCLA. He explains to Jim and Greg that while it may be unlikely that the members of Coldplay sat around jamming to Satriani's guitar licks, a jury might still feel they had access, even unconsciously. The melodic similarities are tiny, but evident. What may be harder for the plaintiff Satriani to prove is that the audience for his music was at all affected by the release of the Coldplay song.

If Satriani vs. Coldplay ever goes to trial, its verdict will no doubt be affected by precedents set in other landmark copyright cases. For a mini legal clinic, read up on these three major cases:

  • Mack vs. Harrison
  • Bridgeport vs. Combs
  • La Cienega Music vs. ZZ Top

To end their discussion on rock plagiarism, Jim and Greg go to one of the most absurd instances of legal action-that when one artist is sued over his own work. In Fantasy vs. Fogerty, the works in question are "Run Through the Jungle" by John Fogerty and "The Old Man Down the Road" by…you guessed it…John Fogerty. The Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman was accused of cribbing his own notes. Jim and Greg speak to Kenneth Sidle, the attorney who successfully defended Fogerty against his former publishing company in this case. Sidle agrees that major changes are needed in copyright laws and how they are handled in court.

Go to episode 166
reviews
Mylo XylotoMylo Xyloto available on iTunes

Coldplay Mylo Xyloto

One band that has been working with Brian Eno in recent years is Coldplay. They first linked up for Viva La Vida in 2008. And now Eno has co-written songs for their 5th album Mylo Xyloto. It has already shot to #1, but does it deserve it? Jim compares the band to rice pudding. It's never phenomenal, but sometimes exactly what you want and need. But rice pudding should never be deconstructed or overcomplicated, and perhaps that's where the band went wrong with this release. Eno's presence alone doesn‘t make them any more experimental. And he didn’t do much to improve the inauthentic and melodramatic lyrics. Jim says Trash It. Greg agrees, but admits the Coldplay lyrics game is quite a fun one. He is disappointed by the stale arena rock formula and accuses them of cribbing notes from Bruce Springsteen, or worse The Killers imitating Springsteen. Mylo Xyloto gets a double Trash It.

JimGreg
Go to episode 310
Viva la Vida or Death and All His FriendsX&Y available on iTunes

Coldplay X&Y

After months of anticipation and a high profile iTunes publicity campaign Coldplay's new album Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends has finally been released. This album follows up three multi-platinum releases, making the band one of the biggest of this century. The Chris Martin-fronted act sought out Brian Eno to take their music to the next level, but neither Jim nor Greg hear anything particularly groundbreaking. In fact, they both think X&Y was a little more radical. Greg appreciates the sound of this record, but wishes Martin had more to say. And, as far as arena rock anthems go, Jim doesn't think anyone does it better these days. But neither critic thinks listeners need to invest money in this album. Viva La Vida gets two Try Its.

JimGreg
Go to episode 133
news

Music News

First up in the news is the Future of Music Coalitions' report on the state of indie airplay on commercial radio stations. In 2007, after controversies surrounding payola, the FCC and four major radio corporations signed a voluntary agreement to air more local and independent artists. The FMC has been keeping tabs on how they're doing, and the stats are not good. Just as before, 85% of music on the radio comes from major labels. This may have been the conservative and profitable way to go for radio conglomerations in the past, but as the major label system crumbles, it would behoove radio to walk on the wild side a little more.

Following in the esteemed footsteps of Prince and No Doubt, Coldplay will give away a free live album with the purchase of a ticket to their Viva La Vida tour. Jim and Greg are always encouraged to see musicians try to give consumers a little more bang for your buck, especially since Coldplay tickets are not nearly as expensive as a lot of summer shows.

In other concert industry news, one group that isn't holding back spending in this economy is the corporate sponsor. According to IEG Sponsorship Report, sponsorships will hit an all-time high in 2009. Companies like JC Penney, Clorox and KC Masterpiece want to cash in on big name music acts. After seeing the Virgin Mobile-sponsored Britney Spears show recently, Jim and Greg wonder if these are such wise investments though. And, they shudder to think of the corporate presence at the upcoming Woodstock reunion.

Go to episode 180

Music News

The Beatles remasters were a big success story for Apple Corp. In one week they sold more than 600,000 albums in the U.S. and had 13 of the 14 best-selling catalog albums. So the question is, are they worth it? Jim and Greg give their answers. The sound is improved, but the packaging isn‘t much to write home about. And, as Jim says, how many new Beatles formats should fans be expected to buy? Greg thinks the real gems are the Fab Four’s mono mixes, but those are only available as a separate and pricey box set. Jim and Greg think fans deserve a little more for their money.

Two rock lawsuits are making the news. First, The Ellen DeGeneres Show is being sued by some of the largest record companies for copyright infringement. As viewers know, Ellen frequently and enthusiastically dances during the show. Unfortunately for her she doesn‘t like any fair-use beats. Instead she’s boogied down to over 1,000 copyrighted pop songs without permission. As Jim notes, the ironies abound: Ellen has not only hosted the recording industry's biggest award show, The Grammys, but she's been tapped as a new judge on American Idol, who works in partnership with Sony Music, one of the plaintiffs.

Next is an update on a lawsuit Jim and Greg discussed earlier this year. Guitar shredder Joe Satriani sued Coldplay for ripping off his composition If I Could Fly, in their track Viva La Vida. The suit has been dropped, and while no financial details have been revealed, Coldplay doesn't have to admit to any guilt.

Jim CarrollFamed poet, spoken word artist and punk rocker Jim Carroll passed away last week at the age of 60. Carroll may be best known for his 1978 book The Basketball Diaries, which was adapted into a film of the same name. He was also very involved in the CBGB's punk scene of the 1970s, and under the encouragement of Patti Smith, transformed his poetry into music. To honor Carroll, Jim and Greg play People Who Died from his 1980 album Catholic Boy.

Go to episode 199