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WOW, this Denny Somach writes a book about ZEP and makes $ from it; then turns around and testifies against ZEP! Wow-such class and ethics. I actually paid my own dough and bought his book when it came out a few years ago;  I think I'm gonna throw it out, if I don't throw -up 1st.   WTF

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April 26, 2016   by Eriq Gardner

Led Zeppelin Knocks Out Sound Recordings, Experts, More From 'Stairway to Heaven' Trial
The jury won't hear about Jimmy Page's drug use nor about "serial plagiarism" either.


Those who have listened to Spirit's "Taurus" and hear similarity to the opening guitar riff in
"Stairway to Heaven" might expect Led Zeppelin to be in trouble at a copyright trial
scheduled for May 10. However, don't bet against Led Zeppelin just yet. On Monday, the
defendants scored some key victories that will severely limit the testimony and evidence
heard by a jury.


Perhaps most importantly, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner has decided to exclude many
of the "Taurus" sound recordings that the Randy Craig Wolfe Trust (which counts itself as a
beneficial owner of Spirit member Randy California's works) wanted to play for the jury. The
"Taurus" copyright is limited to what was deposited with the Copyright Office in 1967 and so
the judge has agreed with Led Zeppelin that the only recordings to be presented for the jury's
ears are ones transcribed from the copyrighted sheet music.


What's more, the judge has rejected all of the plaintiff's experts because these musicologists
prepared their reports and opinions by relying upon sound recordings that embodied
unprotected performance elements.


That's not to say for sure that the Randy Craig Wolfe Trust won't have any experts testifying.
Judge Klausner has given the plaintiff five days to submit new expert reports "purged" of
what's unprotected.

Led Zeppelin's pre-trial victories hardly stop there.

The band has also gotten the judge to bar any testimony how Led Zeppelin has a history of
plagiarism. The jury also won't hear about the wealth of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Nor
will jurors be able to consider how Led Zeppelin band members used drugs and alcohol. The
plaintiffs wanted to use evidence of the latter to throw doubts on Page's recollection that he
never heard Spirit's "Taurus" when composing "Stairway to Heaven." In fact, the judge also
won't let the jury consider the many newspaper articles and book excerpts that addressed
Led Zeppelin's alleged lifting of song craft except for two statements made by Page in
magazine interviews. When Page testifies (more on that in a moment), the Randy Craig
Wolfe Trust will attempt to use his prior recollections to impeach him.


As for what the plaintiff wished to exclude at trial, Klausner has decided to not let Led
Zeppelin challenge the validity of Randy Craig Wolfe Trust, but will let the defendant
introduce evidence that the "Taurus" copyright is actually owned by Randy California's son,
Quinn Wolfe, instead of the Trust.


At a hearing yesterday, Francis Malofiy, attorney for the plaintiff, reportedly spoke of his
concern that Page and Plant wouldn't present themselves to testify. The judge may not have
the authority to order the two U.K. citizens to the trial; On the other hand, both have
undergone depositions already that will likely be played for the jury, assuming there's no
settlement in the next two weeks that avoids a trial.

Edited by KellyGirl
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A great sum up there. I think the judges/jury realize what a Pandora's box would open if Zep lost the case. There iis 

already the Granata case, etc., and I said this before but may have been deleted, IMO Zep can't settle. Already the

collateral damage, but it would be a lot worse to settle. Impossible to "quietly" settle this matter.

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I've scene comedy routines where a comedian plays the same 3 to 4 chords and starts singing numerous different songs... Probably could be youtubed as well... Cases like this make me think someday musicians will never be able to use the Am C G or D chords because it sounds like ... Oh wait every classic or modern pop rock or country song in history... This case is pissing me off... My expert says it does my expert says it doesn't... The greed is ridiculous

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I'm feeling a tad more positive than I was prior to the pre-trial.  I think it's a big plus that the
jury won't  hear about the booze and drug habits, nor previous plagiarism cases or any printed
media talking about Stairway opening VS Taurus opening, and Hell Yeah to the quotes a k a
"hearsay chatter" being left off the menu as well.  And with the judge saying he wants a quick
trial most or all of the 'expert witnesses' the plaintiff had lined up are being squashed more
or less.  Not saying they won't testify, just a lot of stuff they had been counting on has been

Still the mere fact this is actually heading to trial is redonk to say the least, but a silver lining
besides an obvious Zep victory would mean.. Finito!  Game Over for the Stairway vs Taurus bull
shit lawsuits. The book would close and all would be merry and well with the Jimbert Stairway
writing credits.

Now for the jury.  A bit of light heartedness here.  I'm looking sideways at the white male
50-65 that answered the jury questionnaire  honestly and is granted a seat. How can you NOT
have even the slightest opinion on Led Zeppelin.  Love or hate Zep, a white teenage male living in
California in the 1970s not having a voice good OR bad on Zep....really?  Do they exist??  Haha.:lol:  
Sighhhh now before somebody says I am using stereotypes to define Zep fans,  I'm just  being silly.  
I know  anybody and everybody can represent a Zep fan!! :D 

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19 minutes ago, badgeholder said:

Well if this ( below) is true, they're not money-grubbing, it says they'll settle for one dollar and "writing credit"


Writing credit means royalties. It still is about money.


However, If this story is true, it could mean that the plaintiff thinks he is on shaky ground. (Which he is IMHO)

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3 hours ago, sixpense said:

Writing credit means royalties. It still is about money.


However, If this story is true, it could mean that the plaintiff thinks he is on shaky ground. (Which he is IMHO)

Exactly, the "one dollar" is just a publicity stunt. 

This news today is encouraging, the first such in a while.


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Would it not be ironic that if the Stairway lawsuit is dismissed, the Davey Graham Trust goes after the Randy California Trust for copyright infringement for Cry Me a River? That would be some serious Karma there.

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the same descending notes can be found in While my guitar gently weeps! its all bollocks!

Achilles last stand
Going to California
Since I've been loving you
Black dog
Ramble on
Immigrant song
Communication breakdown
Four sticks
Custard pie
In the light
That's the way
Song remains the same
No quarter

Unoriginal?! Case dismissed



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Henry bonzo, is the list you wrote a list of original music to support the case for them in then stairway lawsuit? some may argue against your inclusion of since ive been loving you and say its a lift from a moby grape song

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I've heard and don't call me out on this but I think the moby grape line was a respectful nod to a band RP liked and all were cool with it... Could be wrong ... Not 100%... 

But... To use your point about Moby Grape... They would have more right with that example than Spirit with the INSTRUMENTAL Taurus... 

In an instrumental sense if something was blatant I could understand but in this case the songs are only slightly similar and what Page does is way more intricate...

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On 26/04/2016 at 0:21 AM, sixpense said:

Writing credit means royalties. It still is about money.  However, If this story is true, it could mean that the plaintiff thinks he is on shaky ground. (Which he is IMHO)

Exactly, the plaintiff just blinked and showed his cards to his opponent, if they were confident of victory, they wouldn't be offering terms of settlement, this farce is over bar the gavel.

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21 hours ago, jsj said:

Henry bonzo, is the list you wrote a list of original music to support the case for them in then stairway lawsuit? some may argue against your inclusion of since ive been loving you and say its a lift from a moby grape song

yeah, there is the ongoing argument that they just ripped everything off, but when you look at the back catalogue, its total zep or a reworking


(thankful they jury mustn't use the non credit issues in the current case ;) )

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Ha! It looks like the descendants of 17th century Italian composer, Giovanni Battista Granata, should now sue Spirit! :rolleyes: I haven't participated in this thread before, but I believe that this entire lawsuit, is just a pointless, money grabbing exercise! Sheesh! :slapface: 

Breaking: Led Zeppelin Is About to Win Its ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Case…

 April 27, 2016

Giovanni Battista Granata, the real author of 'Stairway to Heaven'

Against near-certain defeat, Led Zeppelin is being offered a desperate, last-minute deal.

Last week, a commenter on Digital Music News single-handedly dismantled a massive copyright infringement case against Led Zeppelin involving ‘Stairway to Heaven’.  Now, attorneys bringing the case against Zeppelin appear to be desperately trying to work out a deal.

The case against Zeppelin, raised by the band Spirit, accused the legendary group of stealing the pivotal guitar progression in ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and minting millions off of the song’s popularity.  Unfortunately for Spirit, it turns out that progression is actually in the public domain, appearing as early as 1630 in an Italian baroque composition for stringed instruments.

That will undoubtedly become a critical part of Zeppelin’s defense early next month, with jury members almost certain to dump the case after hearing the soft ‘Stairway to Heaven’ melody in a 17th century pre-Classical work.  In fact, sources to Digital Music News have confirmed that Zeppelin attorneys are almost certainly going to play recordings of the centuries-old composition (and perhaps others) in what appears to be a slam-dunk case.

Against that near-certain defeat, Spirit’s legal team is desperately trying to secure a settlement before a jury has a chance to deliberate.  The apparent deal: an offer of a $1 fine in exchange for a juicy writing credit.  “Lawyers suing members of rock supergroup Led Zeppelin say their client is willing to settle a lawsuit over the band’s most famous song — a claim potentially worth millions of dollars — for just $1,” Vernon Silver of Bloomberg just shared.

Spirit’s attorney, Francis Alexander Malofiy, confirmed that information, telling Bloomberg, “It’s always been about credit where credit is due.”  But here’s the kicker: that little ‘credit’ would apparently amount to $40 million, based on a quick read of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant’s $60 million, ten-year accord with Warner/Chappell Music Publishing (and Bloomberg’s foggy calculations).

The obvious elephant in the courtroom is that the real writing ‘credit’ should probably go to Giovanni Battista Granata, the 17th century Italian composer that penned this piece (listen around 0:32 for the kicker):



Lawyers watching the case have noted that Zeppelin would be extremely foolish to accept the latest deal, especially given the fresh evidence that has come to light.

Malofiy, who specifically represents the estate of Spirit singer Randy California, also faces another challenge.  Aside from ‘Stairway to Heaven’ basically existing for nearly 400 years, another piece with exactly same riff also surfaced from the late 1950s.  That track, performed by Davey Graham in the late 1950s, could have easily been the inspiration for ‘Stairway’.

Source: http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2016/04/27/breaking-led-zeppelin-has-already-won-the-stairway-to-heaven-infringement-case/


Edited by Kiwi_Zep_Fan87
To add the original link to the article
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Thank you for posting the article Kiwi!  

It's looking sad for Randy's camp as we draw in closer to the trial.  Soooo the V E R Y
small part of the two songs that have been pointlessly argued about was found in a
piece written as far back as the 1700s?!?  Well jeez duh eh.  C'mon Judge toss the case

I do have to give him mad props for putting his foot down on a lot of things though. The
plaintiff wanting  to drag Jimmy's name through manure by focusing on his past alcohol
and drug addictions, uh ermm -_- NO! In otherwords chalk it up that Jimmy's memory can't
be reliable, so therefore he has to be confused/lying in his testimony.  Pfft 
they can piss off
with that turd talk.  Jimmy's mind is sharp.

I say they fold their hand, stand up from the table and walk away.  Enough with the attempts
being made on trying to get an undeserving fat payout /windfall from Zep

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