Led Zeppelin’s lawyers filed papers Friday asking that a Los Angeles judge award more than a half-million dollars in attorneys’ fees for successfully defending the band against “Stairway to Heaven” plagiarism allegations.A federal jury last month rejected a lawsuit alleging that Led Zeppelin stole the opening guitar motif of its signature song “Stairway to Heaven” from an obscure tune by the defunct Los Angeles group Spirit.
The eight-person jury in downtown Los Angeles found there was not enough evidence to support claims by the estate of the late Spirit songwriter/guitarist Randy Wolfe, known as Randy California, that the intro to “Stairway” was lifted from Spirit’s 1968 instrumental “Taurus.”
The jury declined to award any damages, ending the six-day legal battle that included a courtroom reunion, of sorts, of Led Zeppelin surviving members Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones.
In a court filing, the band’s counsel, Peter Anderson, asked that the band’s music publisher, Warner/Chappell, be awarded almost $613,500 from the team that lost the case, citing “gross misconduct” by plaintiff’s attorney Francis Malofiy.
The publisher should be awarded the fees to “encourage and reward the litigation of a meritorious defense,” Anderson wrote.
Malofiy, meanwhile, has been temporarily suspended from practicing law in Philadelphia federal court as a result of a court decision last week.
The penalty stems from Malofiy’s actions in a copyright infringement suit against Usher over the song “Bad Girl” in which the attorney represented the plaintiff who claimed he was an uncredited co-writer, according to court filings.
— City News Service
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