Quantcast
Connect with us

Led Zeppelin owes millions in royalties to musician: plaintiff attorney

Published

on

Led Zeppelin may owe an American musician millions of dollars in royalties, a plaintiff’s attorney said on Wednesday in closing arguments of a trial over whether the British band stole the opening riff for its 1971 hit “Stairway to Heaven.”

Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, in testimony earlier in the seven-day copyright infringement trial, said the riff was commonly used long before its appearance on American band Spirit’s 1967 song “Taurus” and before “Stairway to Heaven.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Lawyer Francis Malofiy, who represents a trustee for late Spirit musician Randy Wolfe, also known as Randy California, told jurors in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles that Page did not say how he was inspired to compose the opening chords of the chart-topping song, which has a place in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

“He didn’t tell you where he got the idea,” Malofiy said. “That’s because the piece of music was lifted from ‘Taurus’ and Randy California.”

Malofiy said he was seeking a one-third writing credit on “Stairway to Heaven” for Wolfe and presented various estimated valuations of damages ranging from $3 million to $30 million.

The federal trial has called into question the originality of the signature song of one of the top-selling rock acts of all time.

Peter Anderson, an attorney for the band, repeated to jurors his argument that the riff that opens “Stairway to Heaven,” a chromatic descending arpeggiated line that misses the ‘E’ note, was in the public domain and had been widely used.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Randy Wolfe did not create the descending chromatic scale,” Anderson told jurors.

Anderson also questioned the damage figures sought by Malofiy, telling jurors that even if they decide Wolfe deserves a writing credit, they would have to determine the value of a riff that only forms part of “Stairway to Heaven.”

The lawsuit was brought in 2014 by Michael Skidmore, a trustee for Wolfe. The musician drowned in 1997.

ADVERTISEMENT

Earlier in the trial, Skidmore’s lawyers simultaneously showed the jury two video clips of expert Kevin Hanson playing the riff in both songs. Hanson said the two clips “play together as one piece of music. It is not discordant.”

Led Zeppelin’s attorneys brought in music expert Lawrence Ferrara, who testified that the “descending chromatic minor line progression” in question at the trial was used 300 years ago, as well as in many pop songs since.

ADVERTISEMENT

(Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Peter Cooney)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

FBI investigating Erik Prince for arms trafficking after attempt to modify crop dusters into attack aircraft: report

Published

on

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly investigating prominent Donald Trump supporter Erik Prince for violating arms trafficking laws.

"Prince, an heir to a billion-dollar fortune who is widely viewed as a shadow adviser to the president, is under federal investigation for his 2015 attempt to modify two American-made crop-dusting planes into attack aircraft — a violation of arms trafficking regulations," The Intercept reported Thursday, citing "two people familiar with the investigation."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘This is not how words work’: Trump trashed after ranting that Roger Stone will be ‘exonerated’

Published

on

President Donald Trump went off on a strange rant after the sentence was handed down in the Roger Stone case.

Trump was supposed to be speaking about his new system of pardons which would pass down recommendations, but instead, he wanted to talk about those he felt should be prosecuted instead of Stone.

"But it happened to Roger Stone, and it happened to Gen. Flynn. and it happened to -- I won't name names," Trump continued during his Hope for Prisoners commencement address. "I know Roger but a lot of people know Roger. Everybody sort of knows Roger. And what happened to him is unbelievable. They say he lied. But other people lied, too. Just to mention [James] Comey lied. [Andrew] McCabe lied. Lisa Page lied. Her lover Strzok, Peter Strzok, lied. You don't know who these people are? Trust me. They all lied."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump’s praise for Dana Rohrabacher comes back to haunt him after ex-congressman confirms offering pardon deal to Julian Assange

Published

on

Former Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California confirmed a shocking revelation to Yahoo News on Thursday — that he had offered a pardon to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2017 if he publicly disputed the notion that Russia had hacked the Democratic National Committee.

The offer was first reported on Wednesday when Assange’s lawyers revealed the exchange in a British court.

But while Rohrabacher confirmed that he presented Assange with the idea, he said President Donald Trump was not aware of the possible pardon. Instead, Rohrabacher said that he discussed the pardon with then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly after the Assange meeting. But while Kelly was “courteous,” Rohrabacher said, they never broached the topic again, and there’s no indication Trump was even made aware of it.

Continue Reading
 
 
close-image