Nickelback Respond to ‘Rockstar’ Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
Johnston is a former member of a band called Snowblind Revival, and claims that Nickelback was given access to his 2001 song "Rock Star" by record label personnel at Roadrunner Records and Warner Chappell Music, Inc., and then copied it.
More specifically, Johnston said that "a substantial amount of the music" was copied, including "the tempo, song form, melodic structure, harmonic structures, and lyrical themes," and was seeking damages for copyright infringement.
Listen to the two songs below.
According to Blabbermouth, Nickelback have responded to the lawsuit, saying that the two songs don't sound alike at all.
"Johnston failed to identify any specific lyrical similarities between the works at issue; he could only conceivably point to the titles of the two works and 'lyrical themes,'" they said. "Titles are not protectable by copyright, and their similarity cannot give rise to an infringement claim. Nor does copyright protect the commonplace lyrical theme of imagining being a rock star."
They went on to point out that the tempos of the song aren't the same — "Rockstar" is slower than Johnston's composition — that they aren't in the same key and that the melodies are nothing alike either.
Additionally, Nickelback noted that Johnston never described the meetings that he had with record label executives in his claim, nor did he specify how Nickelback could've had access to his song in order to copy it.