Led Zeppelin Have Hit A Snag In Their Stairway To Heaven Plagiarism Lawsuit, After Losing A Bid To Obtain Information Which They Hoped Could Defend Their Case Against The Plaintiff.
The British rockers were hit with documents in 2014 from U.S. attorney Francis Malofiy, who represents late Spirit guitarist Randy California, real name Randy Craig Wolfe. He accused the band of copying elements of a 1968 Spirit song called Taurus for Zeppelin's 1971 classic hit, after they served as Spirit's opening act in the late 1960s.
Surviving Led Zeppelin stars Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, and John Paul Jones filed a response to the lawsuit, dismissing the allegations. In the paperwork, they acknowledge playing a concert with Spirit, "but otherwise deny each and every allegation" in the lawsuit.
Led Zeppelin were denied their request to have the suit dismissed on jurisdiction grounds shortly after the lawsuit was filed, and last year (15), the band's legal team requested Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documentation proving the Randy Craig Wolfe trust's validity - a motion which attorneys for the Spirit star's estate called a "pure fishing expedition" and "irrelevant and unduly burdensome."
And on Friday (29Jan16), U.S. magistrate judge Alicia G. Rosenberg sided with plaintiff Michael Skidmore, who serves as a trustee of Wolfe's trust.
In documents obtained by TheWrap, Rosenberg found that "Defendants do not explain the relevance of the requested documents to the ownership inquiry, or how such discovery is proportional to the needs of the case."
Malofiy is seeking to prevent the future release of the remastered Led Zeppelin IV album, which features the track, until his late client receives proper credit for the song.