Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Lawuit 45 Years Too Late

From Fox News: The opening to Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," one of rock 'n' roll's best-known ballads, was played for jurors Tuesday in a case brought by the estate of a dead musician that claims it was stolen by the men credited with creating it.
A lawyer for the estate trustee of the late Randy Wolfe, also known as Randy California, claimed the British rockers lifted the passage from the instrumental tune "Taurus," recorded by his band Spirit, and infringed on the songwriter's copyright.
"This was a song that Randy California had written for the love of his life, Robin. That was her sign, Taurus," said attorney Francis Malofiy. "Little did anyone know it would fall into the hands of Jimmy Page and become the intro to 'Stairway to Heaven.'"
An attorney for guitarist Page and singer Robert Plant told the eight-person jury during opening statements in Los Angeles federal court that the chord progression in Wolfe's song is common and found in songs dating to the 1600s and that other similarities also exist.
"Do re mi appears in both songs," said attorney Peter Anderson, who also claims Wolfe's estate doesn't own the copyright to "Taurus."
Page and Plant, both with their long hair pulled back and dressed in dark gray suits and white shirts, listened quietly as the first two minutes of the song was played for the jury. Their attorney then played a piano interpretation of "Taurus" that had only a vague similarity.
Malofiy showed videos of guitar interpretations of both songs, which sounded more alike. When played simultaneously, similarities and differences could be seen and heard.
Malofiy said Wolfe's work formed the basis for the riff that made the song a hit that is still widely played.
"When you hear those first iconic notes of 'Stairway to Heaven,' it's instantly recognizable," Malofiy said....
Wolfe, who drowned in 1997 saving his son in Hawaii, wrote "Taurus" either 1966 or 1967. "Stairway to Heaven" came out in 1971.
Even if Led Zeppelin ripped off the song, that was 45 years ago.  Then you have plaintiff who died in 1997, should have filed suit before then.  Finally, the greedy estate of the plaintiff and his attorney's, should filed suit immediately.  It's not like "Stairway To Heaven" isn't played on the oldie radio stations or available on You Tube- it's one of the most famous songs out there.  This should never have come to trial.
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