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Posted (edited)

Looks like it's Zeppelin 2, Spirit 0.

Edit: no it isn't. Some knob on SHMF posted the case had just "been won" by Zeppelin, but it's actually a misunderstanding by the poster of the DOJ submission last week.

Edited by 76229

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Here we go again...

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/led-zeppelin-stairway-to-heaven-retrial-879298/

Trial begins today. One troubling aspect is that instead of being held in Los Angeles like the prior trial, this one is being held in the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco...the same Ninth Circuit that voided the previous trial verdict and ordered the retrial.

The DOJ is weighing in on Led Zeppelin's side.

Edited by Strider

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It's hilarious that this case hasn't been thrown out yet. These chord progressions have existed for at least longer than Jimmy Page's grandparents have been around. This entire case is bullshit, nobody owns the rights to classical chord progressions.

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On 8/23/2019 at 4:44 PM, 76229 said:
1 hour ago, Strider said:

Here we go again...

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/led-zeppelin-stairway-to-heaven-retrial-879298/

Trial begins today. One troubling aspect is that instead of being held in Los Angeles like the prior trial, this one is being held in the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco...the same Ninth Circuit that voided the previous trial verdict and ordered the retrial.

The DOJ is weighing in on Led Zeppelin's side.

No, this is not the trial. This is oral argument on the appeal in front of the entire Ninth Circuit en banc panel. The appeals court decision ordering a retrial based on error has been vacated and this new panel will be deciding the appeal by Skidmore...

 

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‘Stairway to Heaven’ Copyright Case Argued at 9th Circuit

Variety Gene Maddaus,Variety 1 hour 21 minutes ago 
2ad2bff740fc7ededfaf8a6f0155001cClick here to read the full article.

The attorney who claims that Led Zeppelin ripped off the acoustic guitar opening in “Stairway to Heaven” faced tough questioning on Monday before an 11-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Francis Malofiy argued the case on behalf Michael Skidmore, a journalist who represents the estate of the late Spirit frontman Randy Wolfe. Skidmore sued Zeppelin in 2014, alleging that the opening of “Stairway” borrowed its descending melody from Spirit’s 1968 track “Taurus.”

A jury ruled against the estate in 2016, and Malofiy is now seeking to overturn the verdict and get a new trial. The case has been closely watched in the music industry, which has been rocked by big awards in the “Blurred Lines” and “Dark Horse” cases.

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the plaintiff in September 2018, vacating the jury verdict, and finding that Judge Gary Klausner had erred by giving the wrong jury instructions.

Zeppelin’s attorneys sought a rehearing before an en banc panel of the 9th Circuit, which agreed to take a fresh look at the case. The arguments on Monday went on for a little more than an hour. The judges grilled Malofiy, and seemed generally inclined to reinstate the jury verdict.

Early in the argument, Judge Andrew Hurwitz asked whether Malofiy contends that Spirit can claim a copyright in the album version of “Taurus,” rather than the deposit copy that was registered with the U.S. Copyright Office. Sound recordings did not become protected under copyright until 1972.

“It’s not the sound recording, it’s the composition embodied in the south recording,” Malofiy argued, to a skeptical audience.

Malofiy also claimed that the deposit copy was flawed, and conceded that it would be hard to find infringement from that version of the composition. Several judges seemed inclined to dispose of the plaintiff’s case on those grounds.

The three-judge panel had faulted Klausner for not giving the jury an instruction that infringement could be found based on the “selection and arrangement” of otherwise unprotectable elements. But the judges on the larger panel questioned whether Malofiy had even raised that argument at trial.

The Department of Justice weighed in on Zeppelin’s behalf in an amicus brief last month.

A ruling may not be issued for several months.

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It stands to reason that if Jimmy wanted to put out any live archive release for the 50th anniversary, any live show from 1971-1980 that included "Stairway to Heaven"  might be delayed until this "Stairway" lawsuit is cleared.

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They had a story on Nightly News today about this copyright case around the 16:37 mark.

Edited by luvlz2

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1 hour ago, luvlz2 said:

They had a story on Nightly News today about this copyright case.

In a somewhat related Note, I’m glad the Black Dog (in the last news clip) made its way back home to its rightful owner. 

R😎

2 hours ago, luvlz2 said:

 

After watching the entire SF court case review from today (9-23-19), the defendants should be cleared and this waste of time be thrown out once and for all. The prosecution keeps shifting the basis of their claim like a chameleon to suit their agenda (as they don’t have a case). Each of the three judges called Malfoy (representing Skidmore) out multiple times each for changing their stance. Defense attorney and expert copyright witness gave overwhelming historical proof supporting STH.

R😎

 

Edited by reids

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Well I might have stated quite a bit differently in the past, but here it goes:

I think there is a substantial difference between the two passages and listening to the recording probably won't change that! I think it's not similar enough, so I would still call Led Zeppelin original in terms of writing the intro, especially when you consider Bach(who can't get any royalties anymore) and Davy Graham's Cry me a river(who wrote a specific instrumental arrangement of the song, that has a vocal  melody quite similar to Stairway; and Graham's relatives could still get something) also were an influence. But the question is always, how much is enough on a dying planet? And how much money and fame and glory is enough? Some get a lot in life cause they are very agile, some get almost nothing, while they obviously contributed quite a chunk to Stairway to heaven intro, copyrighted it before Zeppelin and could still get royalties and affirmation.

Everybody has to make up their own opinion, but the court makes the decision about royalties and affirmation and I think Skidmore would have a stronger case, if his attorney would talk about contribution and more fair distribution of wealth, rather than perhaps just claiming it too much on Skidmore and getting his piece of the pie. Let's not all be childish, there were obviously rather similar things copyrighted before Stairway and claiming stubbornly Led Zeppelin were totally original is ridicuolus, infact they were rather strongly inspired by various compositions and especially Taurus.

 

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It's perfectly true that Zeppelin based quite some of their most successful motives on other songwriters 'song details' and parts which they managed to turn into much more successful full compositions and their legacy is forever tarnished.

It is also true that other very successful artists base their songs a lot less on such fully fledged musical motives, but much more just on chords, melodies and lyrics, while the intros, outros, solos and underlying (mini) melodies are often variations of the vocal melodies, but whatever they are and however those artist managed to be inspired by other people's music, they were still usually more original then Zeppelin.

Edited by SamoKodela

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22 hours ago, Strider said:

It stands to reason that if Jimmy wanted to put out any live archive release for the 50th anniversary, any live show from 1971-1980 that included "Stairway to Heaven"  might be delayed until this "Stairway" lawsuit is cleared.

Hopefully, the judges will dismiss this quickly, so these opportunists (Malfoy representing  Skidmore) can go away and we can get something sooner audio-wise from Led Zeppelin.

R😎🎸

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5 hours ago, reids said:

Hopefully, the judges will dismiss this quickly, so these opportunists (Malfoy representing  Skidmore) can go away and we can get something sooner audio-wise from Led Zeppelin.

R😎🎸

Absolutely.

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On 9/23/2019 at 3:26 PM, June72 said:

It's hilarious that this case hasn't been thrown out yet. These chord progressions have existed for at least longer than Jimmy Page's grandparents have been around. This entire case is bullshit, nobody owns the rights to classical chord progressions.

Since California's estate isn't claiming to have originated those progressions, that's completely irrelevant.  It's pretty obvious that Page was influenced by Taurus in writing STH, hence his evasive answers when asked about his familiarity w/Spirit's music.  It doesn't follow of course that California is entitled to a writing credit, but that's the angle they're taking, not that California was the first person to come up with those progressions.

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2 hours ago, JohnOsbourne said:

Since California's estate isn't claiming to have originated those progressions, that's completely irrelevant.  It's pretty obvious that Page was influenced by Taurus in writing STH, hence his evasive answers when asked about his familiarity w/Spirit's music.  It doesn't follow of course that California is entitled to a writing credit, but that's the angle they're taking, not that California was the first person to come up with those progressions.

Fair enough. But then what are they actually hoping to gain from this? If California didn't write the progressions, he can't get a writers credit and doesn't deserve any royalties. I feel like if there were an actual argument here, then Randy would've tried to get Jimmy during his lifetime. Speaking of which... is there no statue of limitations on this shit? Well clearly not considering this case is occurring, I guess school didn't prepare me too well for this trial haha. But then again, I'm by no means a law student.

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10 hours ago, June72 said:

Fair enough. But then what are they actually hoping to gain from this? If California didn't write the progressions, he can't get a writers credit and doesn't deserve any royalties. I feel like if there were an actual argument here, then Randy would've tried to get Jimmy during his lifetime. Speaking of which... is there no statue of limitations on this shit? Well clearly not considering this case is occurring, I guess school didn't prepare me too well for this trial haha. But then again, I'm by no means a law student.

They're claiming P&P were influenced by Taurus in writing STH, and that they violated the copyright that applies to Taurus' sheet music.  Not a very strong case, and supposedly when California did reach out to Page in the 70's he was told bluntly (and factually) that there was no way he could hope to match Zep's legal resources.  But ultimately it's gotten this far because of P&P's unwillingness to let go of the immaculate conception myth around the song, and simply admit (like musicians for centuries) that they'd heard something they liked, and expanded upon it. (STH is an incomparably better song, but that's not the point.) 

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Only a fanboy would deny how similar the opening sequences of the two songs are.  It's irrelevant that Page took the sequence in completely different directions (no one claims they're the same song), it's pretty clear (based on his evasiveness when asked about Spirit) where he got the idea in the first place.

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Don't know if this was posted here already(listen after 35 seconds), but this one is even closer than Taurus and Cry me a river and is in a way another example of something that can't get royalties from Zep anymore and also another example of something that is not completely similar.  

 

In the second video there are more examples, Page is actually part of the last two-Cartoone and Page-Beck.

 

I think the main problem we are talking about here is that someone concrete is suing and that is someone who is suing as probably last in line before Zep, to use this similar idea. So now what? There are other similar examples, but someone who still got it protected is suing. It was released before Led Zeppelin IV and Page heard it. Now what? I don't think it's similar enough, many think so, the court though so the first time and there are other similar or even more similar examples.

I think the only point here is that no matter how the court decides it's still just an opinion(although royalties and reputation are at stake), so the only reasonable thing for this court to do something useful would be, to establish some general rule about this, if it's possible. Like when you got a very similar chord progression, meter and picking pattern, as well as quite many same notes. They would basically have to say exactly how many notes is enough and that might perhaps already be exactly established and it would probably be quite easy for any artist to avoid trouble, so I might be bullshitting, but it doesn't seem so.

Edited by SamoKodela

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This whole thing I'm writing is making me feel a bit silly, I got my opinion anyway and I think the court will decide the same, but I would just like to add that the court would have to decide on the percentage of notes obviously, as they would neither be necessarily in a (long enough) sequence, neither would there always be the same amount of notes. 

Edited by SamoKodela

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Clearly the A minor references / line cliches go back hundreds of years to Classical music and therefore Led Zeppelin didn’t steal from Taurus nor did Taurus steal from Hoagy Carmichael, nor did Hoagy Carmichael steal from others preceding him all the way back to Bach and Giovanni. History, art and musical themes will repeat themselves in some ways whether they are direct or indirect inspiration relies on the composers and their experiences. 

R😎

D65A77C9-EFCD-49AA-BC5E-283CCFCB8FF2.jpeg

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