News The "Stairway to Heaven" case is finally in court

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by Shithead, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. Shithead

    Shithead Well-Known Member

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    Spirit by TKO......


    Led Zeppelin duo in court to face man accusing them of ripping off Stairway to Heaven
    • U.S. band Spirit claims Stairway to Heaven's opening riff was taken from their song
    • They say Led Zeppelin heard it when they toured together in the 60s
    • Taurus was released in 1968 and was a main part of their live sets
    • Stairway To Heaven came out in 1971 and propelled Led Zeppelin to stardom
    • The song is considered one of the most widely heard compositions in rock history and is the signature song of Led Zeppelin, which broke up in 1980
    By Dailymail.com Reporter
    Published: 00:53 EST, 15 June 2016 | Updated: 03:23 EST, 15 June 2016


    Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Robert Plant have arrived at court to face claims they copied a guitar riff on Stairway To Heaven.
    The British musicians are accused of plagiarizing the instrumental track Taurus by the US band Spirit when they wrote the classic rock song, which was released in 1971.
    A lawsuit has been filed by Michael Skidmore, the trustee of Spirit's guitarist Randy Wolfe - known by the nickname Randy California - who died in 1997 having never taken legal action over the song.
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    Who really wrote it? Jimmy Page, left, of Led Zeppelin laid down the guitar parts for Stairway To Heaven, but it is now claimed that the notes in the song's opening bars were in fact written by Randy California, right
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    Rocking: Page plucks one of his famous solos on stage with Led Zeppelin in Sydney, Australia, one year after the release of Stairway To Heaven on their album Led Zeppelin IV
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    Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page is shown sitting in federal court for a hearing in a lawsuit involving their rock classic song Stairway to Heaven
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    Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant (L) and guitarist Jimmy Page are shown in this courtroom sketch
    A jury will rule on the case at the US District Court in Los Angeles, where Plant, Page and their bandmate John Paul Jones are expected to give evidence.
    Led Zeppelin were the opening act for Spirit when the British band made their US debut in December 1968 in Denver, according to documents filed with the court.
    Led Zeppelin's lawyers have argued that both Stairway To Heaven and Taurus use notes and combinations that have been circulating in music for centuries.
    The lawsuit comes after a US federal jury found last year that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams had copied a Marvin Gaye song to create their 2013 hit Blurred Lines and awarded Gaye's children $7.4 million.
    A judge trimmed the award in that case and the verdict is under appeal.

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    Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, left, and singer Robert Plant are pictured together in 2012
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    Way back when: Led Zeppelin singer Plant (left) and guitarist Page (right) say they wrote Stairway to Heaven in a remote cottage in Wales
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    Randy California's old band Spirit on stage in 1969, around the time they say that Led Zeppelin would have heard them playing their song Taurus, which it is claimed that Page took the guitar riff from
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    Led Zeppelin IV album sleeve: The case began with the jury being played various performances of both songs, including part of Led Zeppelin's recording of Stairway to Heaven
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    Mark Andes, a founding member of the band Spirit, arrives to federal court for a hearing in a lawsuit involving Led Zeppelin's rock classic song Stairway to Heaven in Los Angeles
    The jury was sworn in as district court judge Gary Klausner warned the panel not to read news reports about the case or do their own research online.
    'The plaintiff asserts infringement of copyright of a musical composition known as Taurus,' the judge said.
    'The defendants deny these claims.
    'You must decide this case solely on the evidence received during this trial.
    'You must not be exposed to any other information about the case.'
    Spirit bassist Mark Andes believes Led Zeppelin would have heard the song when the two bands were on tour together in the late 1960s - which they then copied for their smash hit song.
    'It would typically come after a big forceful number and always got a good response. They would have seen it in that context,' Andes said back in 2014.
    'It is fairly blatant, and note for note. It would just be nice if the Led Zeppelin guys gave Randy a little nod. That would be lovely.'
    It's not the first time that Led Zeppelin have been taken to court over their music.
    Guitarist Page has previously admitted taking inspiration from blues and folk musicians in crafting the band's hits, although he claimed he 'always tried to bring something fresh'.
    Nevertheless, songwriters have over the decades brought successful legal challenges to the group and its label, forcing them to pay royalties and add credits to songs they claimed as their own.
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    Speaking last year, the former Spirit bassist Mark Andes said he thought that his former bandmate deserved overdue credit for the 'fairly blatant' copying of his music by Page and Plant
    Album listings for Whole Lotta Love, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, The Lemon Song and Dazed And Confused have all had to be amended to include names of artists which courts ruled were the true originators of the music.
    But the row over Stairway To Heaven, the song which arguably propelled them to rock megastardom, could be the biggest yet.
    In 2008, Conde Nast Portfolio magazine estimated that the song had earned at least $525million dollars in royalties and record sales. It appears on America's third biggest-selling album of all time, Led Zeppelin IV.
    Randy California's family said the reason they waited so long to take legal action was because they could never afford it.
    U.S. lawyer Francis Alexander Molofiy, who is handling the case, said: 'The idea behind this is to make sure that Randy California is given a writing credit on Stairway to Heaven. It's been a long time coming.'
    And, of course, there's the money. California drowned in 1997 while rescuing his son from a rip current while on holiday in Hawaii and the royalties from his music career are now collected by a trust.
    The beneficiary of that trust is the Randy California Project in Ventura County, California, which teachers youngsters music.
    Led Zeppelin would not comment on the case.
     
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  2. Shivvy

    Shivvy Well-Known Member

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    They're gonna lose
     
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  3. Beth143nacho

    Beth143nacho Bede bede beep VIP

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    People care less about this than they do about anything mlaw posts
     
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  4. Shivvy

    Shivvy Well-Known Member

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    And that bullshit Blurred Lines decision opened the door for this
     
  5. Flabo

    Flabo Well-Known Member

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    Their whole first album are stolen songs, look it up. They were a great band and had many original hits but I don't know if because they were young, and thought or were told that their take on songs were theirs and they could claim they wrote their "version" of these songs were the reason they put page/plant on them and took writing credit, but I def think the Taurus song influenced page.
    Babe I'm gonna leave you, a first album cut they claimed to have written was a cover of a Joan Baez song. All the blues songs were covers also.

    Granted they improved that version
     
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  6. greenchiclets

    greenchiclets Well-Known Member VIP

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    [​IMG]
     
  7. thegroovologist

    thegroovologist Well-Known Member

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  8. Dan

    Dan Do you like my car?

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    Just listened to Taurus... Zep should win this one.

     
  9. scoobyla

    scoobyla Well-Known Member

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    theres only 12 notes
     
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  10. sstressed

    sstressed enhancement toker

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    loved zeppelin and spirit. but mostly zeppelin!

    the music of my misguided youff! :grad:
     
  11. ApeFace

    ApeFace Well-Known Member

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    God almighty, Plant looks inhuman.
     
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  12. 1Vegasgirl

    1Vegasgirl Well-Known Member VIP

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  13. Flabo

    Flabo Well-Known Member

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    I'd say the small faces will be up next, page and plant ripped off whole lotta love too
     
  14. suckemnuckledus

    suckemnuckledus Well-Known Member

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    damn that's good!!
     
  15. EddyG

    EddyG Well-Known Member

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    less of an issue with the Spirit lawsuit than what they did with Dazed and Confused.Spirit will lose.
     
  16. Pitzarea

    Pitzarea Well-Known Member

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    The intro sounds a bit like The Masterplan by Oasis. Maybe they'll try suing Noel next?

     
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  17. Rupert Pupkin

    Rupert Pupkin That Ass is Attached to Daniela Lopez

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    Jimmy Page testified today....but did he testify truthfully ????

    Read the complete Washington Post article here > https://goo.gl/qV4V01

    Led Zeppelin songwriter ignorant of similar ‘Stairway’ riff

    By Brian Melley | AP June 15 at 9:52 PM

    LOS ANGELES — Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page testified Wednesday that until a few years ago, he’d never heard a song the megastar band is accused of ripping off for the introduction to “Stairway to Heaven.”

    Page claimed he didn’t even know he owned the album by the band Spirit that contained the short instrumental tune “Taurus” that has a guitar riff very similar to the intro of the classic 1971 rock ballad.

    “Something like that would stick in my mind,” Page told jurors in his defense during a copyright infringement trial in federal court. “It was totally alien to me.”

    A lawyer for the estate of Spirit’s late guitarist, Randy Wolfe, also known as Randy California, contends the famous descending-chord progression that begins “Stairway” was lifted from the Spirit tune, which was released a few years earlier.

    An eight-member jury must decide whether the two sequences are substantially similar.

    While musical experts not involved in the case have said the two are similar, they have also said the sequence is common and has appeared in other pieces from decades and even centuries ago.

    Perhaps a larger hurdle for the plaintiffs is that the jury must find the recording of “Stairway” is similar to the sheet music for the song because that’s what is filed with the U.S. Copyright Office. Videos played in court of other musicians playing from the sheet music differ significantly from the recorded version of “Taurus.”

    Page said he had never seen the sheet music and couldn’t compare the two tunes. He wasn’t allowed to comment on whether he found the riff on the “Taurus” recording similar to “Stairway” after his lawyer objected to the question.

    Page said he only learned of the song when his son-in-law told him that comparisons with “Stairway” were cropping up online. After listening to the two tracks, he said he discovered he had Spirit’s first album, which contained “Taurus.”

    “I don’t know how it got there or anything,” Page said. “I can tell you I’ve never heard this album.”
     
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  18. lastlaugh

    lastlaugh Well-Known Member

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    Zeppelin had to give a ton of retroactive credit to other artists on their first album. Greatest cover band ever.
     
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  19. lovetalkradio

    lovetalkradio Well-Known Member Banned User

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    What about Mark Andes? I think he was in Heart in the late 80's and was good looking.
     
  20. Gaylord Focker

    Gaylord Focker Well-Known Member

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    :lmao:
     
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