Chris Martin and crew have had the finger pointed at them by American songwriter Joe Satriani who claims sections of the band's Viva La Vida bear a striking resemblance to his song, If I Could Fly.

There's no doubt that the two songs have their similarities, but it's important to consider that although there are lots of notes, chords and keys to choose from, the options aren't endless. As the saying goes, accidents happen, but also interesting is the fact that this isn't the first time Coldplay have been pulled aside for 'stealing' the work of others.

In contemporary music, sampling is a popular technique that sees artists using the work of others that have gone before - often to exploit a tune that listeners are already familiar with - in what some would call lazy composition.

The introduction to what many refer to as a nineties anthem, Bittersweet Symphony, was based entirely on a 1960s orchestral recording of The Rolling Stones' hit The Last Time.

Although authorisation had been given to use samples of the track, the Stones successfully argued that Richard Ashcroft and his boys had taken it one step too far by building their entire composition over it.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards originally settled for a joint 50 per cent stake in the song's profits, but once it became enormously successful, they demanded a full 100 per cent of its takings.

The Verve were forced to change all composing credits to Jagger/Richards despite the hit's lyrics and melody being wholly original, prompting frontman Richard Ashcroft to call it "the best song Jagger and Richards have written in 20 years."

Hootie And The Blowfish's 1995 single Tangled Up In Blue was also one to ruffle a few feathers. Intended as a homage to legendary songsmith Bob Dylan, the song lifted a number of his classic lyrics without permission. Needless to say, he sued the band.

But before you go thinking bitter old has-beens only go chasing after young hipsters who pinch a bit of their work, John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival had a number of legal actions brought against him by his old band's record label for allegedly ripping off his own songs.

Met with the same lawyerly headshake as Coldplay's latest work, Avril Lavigne's 2007 album The Best Damn Thing is alleged by some to contain a whole raft of plagiarised content.

The Canadian pop tart and her co-writers were sued by James Gangwer and Tommy Dunbar who claimed the singer's cheeky Girlfriend was almost a carbon copy of I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend, a hit in the 1970s for funk daddies The Rubinoos.

A rather secretive agreement was reached in an out-of-court settlement which saw the two original songwriters to publicly concede that Lavigne's team had copied the material accidentally. It must have been quite a pay-off they received!

Elsewhere on the album, I Don't Have To Try was slated by online gossip guru Perez Hilton for ripping off I'm The Kinda, by Peaches.

When will these stars learn that originality is king? - Not gimmickry.

FemaleFirst - Anthony Hill