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jim6225

Lawsuit over Stairway to Heaven

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4 hours ago, sixpense said:

The attorney for the plaintiff was just on a CNN program called Smerconish (he is a lawyer) . He says that he had to fight the case with both hands behind his back and that the trial wasn't about money but credit, He insinuated that he would appeal the case on reversible error. The error being that they could not use the actual  Taurus recording to compare to Stairway To Heaven.

The host of the show thought that the songs sounded alike. I thing that he needs to clean the wax out of his ears.

As you can see that an attorney is never going to turn down the chance for more billable hours. He is going to milk this for as long as he can. I find it interesting that he stated (outside the courthouse) that one of the reasons that Randy California didn't sue was because of the cost. Apparently there is an abundance of money available now?  

And I was think this guy's 15 minutes were about up.  

Edited by ZepDomi

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7 minutes ago, IpMan said:

If anything, Jimmy was influenced by Davey Graham's Cry Me A River since he was a big fan of Graham's and has cited his as influence numerous times. I assume he was very familiar with Cry Me A River and likely played it while doing session work. Being around classically trained musicians they probably told him that Graham did not really write that, referenced the classic works, and explained the lament bass and how prevalent it is in just about all forms of modern, western music.

That would be my guess and yes, I serious doubt any of the members of Zeppelin ever heard Taurus prior to STH. The song was an obscure track on an album no one within the band appears to have owned (Robert had a compilation album). According to Spirit's lead singer, the band never played Taurus live. So, in light of this info, the fact that the music industry was very singles driven at the time, and no one outside of hardcore Spirit fans, and the band, even heard this song it is absolutely no stretch to believe the Zep boys ever heard Taurus.

Page confessed to having the the album in his collection.
The document linked below lists several recorded live performances of Taurus, most of them from 67.

https://www.scribd.com/doc/304931296/Skidmore-v-Led-Zeppelin-Kevin-Hanson-expert-Declaration-pdf

Cry Me A River is sounds a lot like Stairway but Taurus is even closer!

 

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31 minutes ago, IpMan said:

They never specified exactly where the money would be going.

I haven't found much info about the trust, but these links indicate that at least some of the money is going in the right direction:

http://www.vcstar.com/news/education/elementary-school-band-is-rock-musicians-legacy-ep-363463554-352053911.html

https://www.newwestsymphony.org/education/harmony-project.php

http://camarillo.macaronikid.com/article/911630/14th-annual-festival-of-talent-is-saturday-feb-28

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12 minutes ago, AnotherNewMember said:

Page confessed to having the the album in his collection.
The document linked below lists several recorded live performances of Taurus, most of them from 67.

https://www.scribd.com/doc/304931296/Skidmore-v-Led-Zeppelin-Kevin-Hanson-expert-Declaration-pdf

Cry Me A River is sounds a lot like Stairway but Taurus is even closer!

 

Page had the album in his collection in the 1990's, not in 1970.

Due to the fact the "musical expert" got several comparison points between STH & Taurus wrong (the songs do not follow a similar pattern and do not descent the same as this jackass attests. Taurus is four exact descending measures; STH is three ASCENDING followed by two descending measures), and Mr. Ferguson, Spirit's lead singer testimony that Spirit never played the song live until the late 80's, I would have to conclude this claim is bogus without the audio source to reference and listen to. 

No, Taurus is not closer to STH, they are very different progressions played in the same key in the same time. 

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5 minutes ago, AnotherNewMember said:

Obviously you never heard of Wyclef Jean and the Haiti Relief Charity debacle. I suggest you look that up for reference, and that is just one example.

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1 hour ago, IpMan said:

Page had the album in his collection in the 1990's, not in 1970.

Due to the fact the "musical expert" got several comparison points between STH & Taurus wrong (the songs do not follow a similar pattern and do not descent the same as this jackass attests. Taurus is four exact descending measures; STH is three ASCENDING followed by two descending measures), and Mr. Ferguson, Spirit's lead singer testimony that Spirit never played the song live until the late 80's, I would have to conclude this claim is bogus without the audio source to reference and listen to. 

No, Taurus is not closer to STH, they are very different progressions played in the same key in the same time. 

When I said that Taurus sounded more lite STH than CMAR that was just IMO, I haven't done any musical analysis.

It's obvious if one reads this that Spirit played Taurus live many times in the sixties:

https://www.scribd.com/doc/307973357/Summary-Judgment-Ruling-in-Skidmore-v-Led-Zeppelin

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Why does there still seem to be confusion among the members here with respect to access and the possibility that Zep hadn't heard the song prior to writing STH?  Am I wrong in my understanding that:

  • Robert was at least passingly familiar with the "Fresh Garbage" cut and his influence brought the riff to the band to work up during a jam?
  • Robert's familiarity was knowing the song from a compilation album.
  • That "Fresh Garbage" is also on Spirit's album that contains "Taurus", but that there's no suggestion or evidence that Robert's access to "Fresh Garbage" equates to access to "Taurus".

Further:

  • That although the band shared a bill with Spirit on two occasions, and there's evidence that points to Robert having attended a concert where Spirit played, that "Taurus" was not played at those concerts.
  • That it is further established that Spirit did not play "Taurus" live until after STH was written - at least a decade after.

And

  • That Jimmy Page has in his collection the Spirit album that contains "Taurus".
  • That there is evidence to suggest that this album was acquired by Jimmy after STH was written -- decades after.
  • That Jimmy's album collection is essentially a music archive and possessing an album among 1000's of others does not constitute access.

And to conclude

  • That there is no evidence proving access within the critical time period, only the suggestion that access wasn't an impossibility.
  • That the myth that Zeppelin watched Spirit perform "Taurus" night after night from the stage is completely busted.

I'm still very confused why members here insist that Page and Plant's denial of or recollection of even knowing or remembering much of anything about Spirit is somehow selective on their part or strategic with respect to this case.  Can you imagine their lives? The demands on their time? The amount of people clamoring for a piece of them? The drugs and alcohol? The fallibility of memory?  I bet Jimmy doesn't remember how to play half the Zeppelin catalog - that he'd have to woodshed for a long time to do so.  I just don't see anything nefarious here at all. Am I missing something or are the facts above as I stated in the bullets correct?

Edited by DogsoverLava

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5 minutes ago, DogsoverLava said:

Why does there still seem to be confusion among the members here with respect to access and the possibility that Zep hadn't heard the song prior to writing STH?  Am I wrong in my understanding that:

  • Robert was at least passingly familiar with the "Fresh Garbage" cut and his influence the riff to the band to work up during a jam?
  • Robert's familiarity was knowing the song from a compilation album.
  • That "Fresh Garbage" is also on Spirit's album that contains "Taurus", but that there's no suggestion or evidence that Robert's access to "Fresh Garbage" equates to access to "Taurus".

Further:

  • That although the band shared a bill with Spirit on two occasions, and there's evidence that points to Robert having attended a concert where Spirit played, that "Taurus" was not played at those concerts.
  • That it is further established that Spirit did not play "Taurus" live until after STH was written - at least a decade after.

And

  • That Jimmy Page has in his collection the Spirit album that contains "Taurus".
  • That there is evidence to suggest that this album was acquired by Jimmy after STH was written -- decades after.
  • That Jimmy's album collection is essentially a music archive and possessing an album among 1000's of others does not constitute access.

And to conclude

  • That there is no evidence proving access within the critical time period, only the suggestion that access wasn't an impossibility.
  • That the myth that Zeppelin watched Spirit perform "Taurus" night after night from the stage is completely busted.

I'm still very confused why members here insist that Page and Plant's denial of or recollection of even knowing or remembering much of anything about Spirit is somehow selective on their part or strategic with respect to this case.  Can you imagine their lives? The demands on their time? The amount of people clamoring for a piece of them? The drugs and alcohol? The fallibility of memory?  I bet Jimmy doesn't remember how to play half the Zeppelin catalog - that he'd have to woodshed for a long time to do so.  I just don't see anything nefarious here at all. Am I missing something or are the facts above as I stated in the bullets correct?

I would say you nailed it, well done.

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What is being discussed here is very important, because although Zep quite rightly won this case, some of the fibbery

from the Zep side is a bit pretzel logic. I am still absolutely ASTOUNDED how this case got so far. Filed in LA, IMO

one the world's most spiritually desolate places( much fun to be had, though). Anyway shame this didn't happen in

the 70's, where surely Zep would have arranged  a celebration party the likes of which has never been seen. In LA,

of course.

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10 minutes ago, Mithril46 said:

What is being discussed here is very important, because although Zep quite rightly won this case, some of the fibbery

from the Zep side is a bit pretzel logic. I am still absolutely ASTOUNDED how this case got so far. Filed in LA, IMO

one the world's most spiritually desolate places( much fun to be had, though). Anyway shame this didn't happen in

the 70's, where surely Zep would have arranged  a celebration party the likes of which has never been seen. In LA,

of course.

Well -- I'll say again -- what fibbery? And how do you draw that conclusion?  In what way do you allow yourself to conclude that Zeppelin lied about anything here? What do you base that on? Are you disagreeing with what are now established facts?  You can't just make a statement about lies without compelling evidence thereof.  You shouldn't allow yourself the belief that there were lies without something compelling to support that belief.  This isn't religion where you just get to believe whatever you want because of "feels"... Doing so is akin to being one of the long standing guys who have repeated ad nauseum over the years that Zeppelin watched Spirit perform "Taurus" live night after night  --- turns out that was complete fiction - not only did they not really tour together, nor did Zeppelin ever really watch anyone who opened for them from the side of the stage, nor did Spirit ever play Taurus live ------- so give us something that we can either accept or argue against that has led you to believe there were lies from the Zeppelin camp.

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7 hours ago, blindwillie127 said:

Anybody out there have a ball park figure on how much money might have spent by the plaintiff's to lose this case? Just wondering.

It would be a fair guess that the lawyer was charging about $400-$500 an hour plus a second lawyer probably at a slightly lesser rate plus fees for filing, research, depositions etc. The question is how many hours in total was spent on the case. (This case was going on for two years)

Ca-CHING!

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2 hours ago, DogsoverLava said:

I'm still very confused why members here insist that Page and Plant's denial of or recollection of even knowing or remembering much of anything about Spirit is somehow selective on their part or strategic with respect to this case.  

Just playing Devil's Advocate, here - Some points to why members are sticky about Page and Plant's recollections:  

1)  The jury "didn't buy" Led Zep's arguments that they did not have access, according to LA Times.

2) In an interview from the early years, Page was quoted talking about how much he liked Spirit.

3) Jimmy doesn't just own the debut Spirit, but 3 or 4 other spirit records.  No proof was submitted as to when he obtained the records, though, as you mentioned.

But none of that is relevant.  A jury of eight has decided that "Taurus" isn't similar to "Stairway", and prior to that the judge ruled that those common notes could not be the basis of copyright infringement.  "Taurus" is an insignificant and incomplete piece of album filler, nothing more.  Page may have heard it some point or other, he can't remember, but he certainly didn't steal it. 

Edited by Mercurious

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i''m sorry that fibbery was taken as some sort of blanket opinion , because I said that Zep had rightfully won the case.

It has been said before, there are other much more flagrant examples of questionable origin in the Zep catalog.

What I am referring to is some of the rather odd replies Page or Plant gave. But I am not referring to or questioning

.0001% the artistic origin or validity of  Stairway. Page in fact on the stand was far more relaxed and in good humor

than he is in most interviews. Look, this is not really about if Plant or Page heard Spirit in 69', or they didn't, or that

they played one song in their jams. All side issues.

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33 minutes ago, Mithril46 said:

i''m sorry that fibbery was taken as some sort of blanket opinion , because I said that Zep had rightfully won the case.

It has been said before, there are other much more flagrant examples of questionable origin in the Zep catalog.

What I am referring to is some of the rather odd replies Page or Plant gave. But I am not referring to or questioning

.0001% the artistic origin or validity of  Stairway. Page in fact on the stand was far more relaxed and in good humor

than he is in most interviews. Look, this is not really about if Plant or Page heard Spirit in 69', or they didn't, or that

they played one song in their jams. All side issues.

Well I'm asking specifically what you think they said or was said as testimony that was lies?

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52 minutes ago, Mercurious said:

Just playing Devil's Advocate, here - Some points to why members are sticky about Page and Plant's recollections:  

1)  The jury "didn't buy" Led Zep's arguments that they did not have access, according to LA Times.

2) In an interview from the early years, Page was quoted talking about how much he liked Spirit.

3) Jimmy doesn't just own the debut Spirit, but 3 or 4 other spirit records.  No proof was submitted as to when he obtained the records, though, as you mentioned.

But none of that is relevant.  A jury of eight has decided that "Taurus" isn't similar to "Stairway", and prior to that the judge ruled that those common notes could not be the basis of copyright infringement.  "Taurus" is an insignificant and incomplete piece of album filler, nothing more.  Page may have heard it some point or other, he can't remember, but he certainly didn't steal it. 

I suspect Jimmy owns pretty much every record from the era as a collector and that most of them were sent to him gratis by record companies.  That the jury didn't "buy" some of Zeppelin's testimony is conjecture yes?  I'm still trying to get a sense of what are agreed on facts or undisputed or proven facts.

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They jury found that Zep "had access" to Taurus. The elements of the case did not require the plaintiff to prove that Page or Plant definitely heard Taurus; nor was the jury required to say if they actually think P&P heard Taurus, and if so, how or where they heard it.

So the jury's ruling simply says that Page and/or Plant reasonably could have heard Taurus.

I believe the reason for this is that cases like this do not focus on whether the defendants actually heard the song, because that's nearly impossible to prove or disprove in most cases. So all that matters is if they did or did not "have access" to it. If they didn't have access, then even if the songs sounded the same, the defendants would win because the similarity would be purely accidental. If on the other hand they did have access, then the question becomes whether or not the songs sound the same. If the songs sound the same, and the defendant had access to the song, then the defendant loses, regardless of any evidence or lack of evidence about exactly where or when the defendant heard the song.

I believe that's why George Harrison lost the My Sweet Lord case - the song was found to be substantially similar, and even though he maintained he didn't consciously rip it off, he was found to have "unconsciously" copied it because it was determined that he had access to it - that he reasonably could have heard it.

Edited by tmtomh

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41 minutes ago, DogsoverLava said:

I suspect Jimmy owns pretty much every record from the era as a collector and that most of them were sent to him gratis by record companies.  That the jury didn't "buy" some of Zeppelin's testimony is conjecture yes?  I'm still trying to get a sense of what are agreed on facts or undisputed or proven facts.

The details of the jury ruling were reported as the facts at hand by the LA TImes, the newspaper of record involved here.  As it was the news story that went out on the the LA Times/NY Times wire service (not an opinion piece or editorial, not something appearing in Rolling Stone or on TV) there should not have been conjecture in the reported facts of the verdict.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-led-zeppelin-copyright-20160623-snap-story.html  

And -  this from our favorite reporter at the trial:

Jimmy Page has testified that he owns 4329 records and 5882 CDs.

Page says on the stand that he has said before that he likes the band Spirit but "I mean I've liked a lot of bands to be honest with you."
Edited by Mercurious

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16 minutes ago, Mercurious said:

The details of the jury ruling were reported as the facts at hand by the LA TImes, the newspaper of record involved here.  As it was the news story that went out on the the LA Times/NY Times wire service (not an opinion piece or editorial, not something appearing in Rolling Stone or on TV) there should not have been conjecture in the reported facts of the verdict.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-led-zeppelin-copyright-20160623-snap-story.html  

And -  this from our favorite reporter at the trial:

Jimmy Page has testified that he owns 4329 records and 5882 CDs.

Page says on the stand that he has said before that he likes the band Spirit but "I mean I've liked a lot of bands to be honest with you."

The LA times is little more than a rag - but even if we take these statements as true fact (which I do) - I'm not seeing deception or lies.  Why are some of you concluding that Zeppelin lied on the stand?  I find it reasonable that access was possible - I find it "possible" the song was heard in some way shape or form -- in no way do I find that probable, nor do I find Zep's claims to the contrary necessarily untruthful and their claims of not remembering in any way a practice of deception.

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1 hour ago, DogsoverLava said:

The LA times is little more than a rag - but even if we take these statements as true fact (which I do) - I'm not seeing deception or lies.  Why are some of you concluding that Zeppelin lied on the stand?  I find it reasonable that access was possible - I find it "possible" the song was heard in some way shape or form -- in no way do I find that probable, nor do I find Zep's claims to the contrary necessarily untruthful and their claims of not remembering in any way a practice of deception.

Well, the jury also ruled that access was possible, then asked to hear the music again, and ruled that Page didn't steal anything from Spirit.  Everyone arrived at the same place, except maybe the Wolfe trust and their money-grubbing, attention seeking lawyer.  :drinks:

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Maybe this whole silly lawsuit was Wolfe's family trying to sell some Spirit records, we all know how those fly off the shelves...I think Taurus went cardboard. Zeppelin sold 300 million records, while Spirit sold about 12 records, 11 of which were bought by his immediate family, the other one being bought by Helen Keller. I think it's safe to say any sales they get are because of this whole phony unfounded association with Stairway...so I would say Spirit owes Zeppelin some royalties...not the other way around. That would amount to $26 total in sales. Taurus is so forgettable and uninspiring, comparing it to Stairway is like comparing horseshit to filet mignon. If they keep appealing they will go broke quick, as Zep has unlimited resources to defend themselves. It's done.

Edited by Tea41

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Short of an appeal and more bullshit, Spirit, and Taurus will slide back to obscurity with maybe the very occasional footnote about how once there was a case with one of their seldom heard songs sounding something like the start to Stairway.

Thing is, when you listen to them, they are just not the same. Generally, a million things are similar to bits of songs. Not much is the same.

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10 minutes ago, Tea41 said:

Maybe this whole silly lawsuit was Wolfe's family trying to sell some Spirit records, we all know how those fly off the shelves...I think Taurus went cardboard. Zeppelin sold 300 million records, while Spirit sold about 12 records, 11 of which were bought by his immediate family, the other one being bought by Helen Keller. I think it's safe to say any sales they get are because of this whole phony unfounded association with Stairway...so I would say Spirit owes Zeppelin some royalties...not the other way around. That would amount to $26 total in sales. Taurus is so forgettable and uninspiring, comparing it to Stairway is like comparing horseshit to filet mignon. If they keep appealing they will go broke quick, Zep has unlimited resources to defend themselves. It's done.

The trustee said at the press conference that two "new" Spirit records were being released soon.

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Hello, I haven't been on ere in a while and I have voiced a lot of my points on a general music forum I'm  part of and should have thought to come here first, my bad for sure.

Here's a copy and paste of my own comment on that forum after finding out the verdict. 

I'm not gonna lie.
This win for Zeppelin was an emotional moment for me and so was this trial.
I'm almost glad now that it went to court, because it vindicates them, and brings forth a lot of facts about each song, as well as musical composition in general, for the Zep opponents to consider.
I don't believe everyone who sided with Spirit are Zep haters and these comments are not aimed at them.
But there are many, who had Zep lost this case, would have then attempted to trash the entire song, and pay no mind to the details of the case that favored Zeppelin.
I'm gonna be 46 in a couple of weeks.
Had Zeppelin lost their official claim to Stairway To Heaven, even just the intro, I would have aged 10 years.
I kept Googling "Stairway To Heaven" on my phone early in the day, knowing that I'm on the East Coast and I would have to consider West Coast time.
At about 130 pm East Coast time, about 1030 am West Coast time, I glanced again at my phone while sitting at the drive thru at the bank.
I saw on Google from a Billboard link "Led Zeppelin Wins 'Stairway To Heaven' Jury Trial"
A huge sense of both joy and relief came over my body and I felt emotion in my face.
No, I didn't cry, lol, but I swear, I probably could have made myself at that point.
I felt like they were attempting to take away a huge part of our youth and a huge part of Rock and Roll history.
I felt they had no right, over something so short and common, to go so hard after a song that means so much to so many, especially this many years later. 
Even though it was only about a short intro, that intro is so iconic, it would have still royally sucked had they lost :)

Edited by price.pittsburgh

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