LED ZEPPELIN Could Settle 'Stairway To Heaven' Copyright Infringement Lawsuit For $1
April 28, 2016
According to The Pulse Of Radio, LED ZEPPELIN could squash their entire copyright infringement lawsuit over their 1971 classic "Stairway To Heaven" for one dollar — but there's a catch. As it stands now, ZEPPELIN will have to defend themselves starting May 10 in a U.S. Federal court in a jury trial after being sued by Michael Skidmore, the trustee of the Randy Craig Wolfe Trust, on behalf of the late SPIRIT guitarist who wrote "Taurus" and performed under the name Randy California. The trust is hoping to not only win a monetary judgment, but also secure a writing credit for California on "Stairway To Heaven".
Bloomberg.com posted that for a one-dollar payment, the song's writers — Jimmy Page and Robert Plant — could bypass a high profile and possibly very damaging lawsuit, reporting: "Robert Plant and Jimmy Page would have to give dead rocker Randy California a writing credit on… 'Stairway To Heaven'. And that's probably worth a lot more than a buck. Such an agreement by Page and Plant, the band's guitarist and singer, respectively, would head off a much anticipated copyright infringement trial scheduled for May 10 in Los Angeles federal court."
Robert Plant and Jimmy Page will not appear at the upcoming trial, but have already sat for individual depositions in their defense.
The performance and publishing worth of LED ZEPPELIN's "Stairway To Heaven" is estimated to be over $560 million.
The Pulse Of Radio posted some of the restrictions for the upcoming lawsuit that may act in Plant and Page's favor:
* The only version of "Taurus" that will be allowed to be played during the trial will be those that were filed with the copyright office in 1967. Other versions that the plaintiff's lawyers wanted to present that, presumably, showed the similarities between guitar passages even better, are now off limits. * The expert's written opinions that were to be submitted at trial that were based on the disallowed recordings have been rejected. The plaintiff's lawyers have five days to submit new reports based only on the allowed recordings. * All testimony on LED ZEPPELIN's history of plagiarism is barred. The only evidence that will be allowed will be two quotes made by Jimmy Page, himself, in magazine articles on how he wrote music. * There will be no testimony on the drinking or drug habits of the members of LED ZEPPELIN. * There will be no testimony on the wealth of the members of the group.