A Los Angeles judge Monday rejected an attempt by Led Zeppelin’s lawyers to recover more than a half-million dollars in defense costs for successfully defending the band against “Stairway to Heaven” plagiarism allegations.
A federal jury in June rejected a lawsuit alleging that Led Zeppelin stole the intro of its signature song “Stairway to Heaven” from an obscure tune by the defunct Los Angeles group Spirit. Attorneys for the band then asked for about $800,000 in compensation for expert witness fees, trial transcripts and other costs, arguing that the lawsuit was frivolous and there was “gross misconduct” by plaintiff’s attorney Francis Malofiy.
In a written ruling, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner denied the motion, finding there was sufficient evidence that the suit was not frivolous.
The eight-person jury determined that the song’s composers, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, did not lift elements of Spirit’s 1968 instrumental “Taurus,” which was penned by Randy Wolfe, known as Randy California.
The jury declined to award any damages, ending a six-day legal battle that included a courtroom reunion, of sorts, of Led Zeppelin surviving members Page, Plant and John Paul Jones.
Malofiy has said he would appeal the verdict.
–City News Service
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