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NICKELBACK Unsurprisingly Wins "Rockstar" Plagiarism Lawsuit

The judge said the case "borders on the absurd."

Nickelback 2023

The case against Nickelback by Snowblind Revival songwriter Kirk Johnston over their 2006 hit "Rockstar" has been dismissed. According to a report by Billboard, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman has ruled that there are no similarities between Nickelback's song and Snowblind Revival's 2001 song "Rock Star," and that there's no evidence that Nickelback ever heard the song.

"Stated simply, they do not sound alike," wrote Pitman in his ruling. "Where both songs evoke similar themes, they are rendered dissimilar through the vivid detail of the original expression in Nickelback's lyrics." Pitman later said that the lawsuit "borders on the absurd" and that there's really nothing in common between the two songs aside from a few analogies and "outlandish stereotypes and images associated with being a huge, famous, rock star."

In the original lawsuit, Johnston alleged Nickelback had access to his demo, which was submitted to Roadrunner Records' parent companies Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, and that Nickelback stole "a substantial amount of the music in 'Rockstar'."

In a 2021 response, Nickelback said the two songs sound nothing alike, and that "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,'" that the two songs aren't even written in the same style, and that none of the melodies match up.

Nickelback also called Johnston out on providing no details about his meetings with record labels and the Snowblind Revival demo, adding Johnston failed to give "the names of the record label representatives with whom he allegedly met, where the meetings took place, or even when the meetings took place."

And let's be real here – these two songs have nothing in common at all aside from that they're both named "Rockstar" and "Rock Star." Sure they deal with the same general topic, but imagine if lyrical concepts could only be used by one artist. Rock music would've been out of business decades ago.

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