Joe Satriani is suing musical group Coldplay for violating his copyright.
This article about the conflict highlights the importance of access in copyright cases.
Decide for yourself by watching this or other Youtube comparisons. I like this particular one because it plays them both and then combines them. Perfect harmony.
This article also led me to an interesting website on copyright, the UCLA copyright Infringement Project, which lists important copyright cases, mostly music related, and includes samples of both songs in various cases.
Although these cases relate to music, the concepts of IP and sampling crossover.
A $5.4 Million case against Michael Bolton had a nice summary of the basics of an infringement case:
A copyright plaintiff must prove
(1) ownership of the copyright; and
(2) infringement – that the defendant copied protected elements of the plaintiff’s work. See Smith v. Jackson, 84 F.3d 1213, 1218 (9th Cir. 1996) (citation omitted).
Absent direct evidence of copying, proof of infringement involves fact-based showings that the defendant had “access” to the plaintiff’s work and that the two works are “substantially similar.” Id.