Led Zeppelin Wants Judge To Throw Out 'Stairway' Lawsuit
The lawyers for Led Zeppelin are requesting the judge throws out the current lawsuit accusing them of stealing the guitar riffs for their hit rock song Stairway To Heaven.
Guitarist Jimmy Page and lead singer Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin are being sued by the estate of Randy Wolfe, founder of the band Spirit. Wolfe's estate claims that Stairway to Heaven, released in 1971, ripped off of Spirit's 1968 instrumental song titled Taurus, using unique musical phrasing that exists in both songs.
The attorney representing Page and Plant, Peter Anderson, wrote in a motion to dismiss on Monday, "Plaintiff rested and failed to carry his burden of proof on multiple issues." Anderson made the argument that Wolfe's estate attorney, Francis Malfioy, failed to carry the burden of proof that Led Zeppelin band members were familiar with the song, and that the musical experts that examined the song failed to deduce that the songs were similar enough to warrant copyright infringement.
The musical experts for Wolfe's estate claimed that there were many similarities between the two songs, but an expert for the defense testified saying that the common descending chord sequence has been a staple in music for 300 years, according to USA Today.
The judge presiding over the case, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner is expected to hear arguments on the motion for dismissal on Tuesday morning when the trial resumes.
An economist testified that Led Zeppelin has earned nearly $60 million in revenues over the past five years on works that include Stairway To Heaven. While the band may have earned $60 million, Anderson argued that the plaintiff failed to produce actual damages from copyright infringement, or present any evidence concerning the earned revenues by Led Zeppelin.
Anderson has also requested that Judge Klausner make judgment on his motion before the case goes to the jury.