Zeppelin gods Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones are treating the copyright lawsuit involving ‘Stairway to Heaven’ like diva rockstars, according to the latest filings.
Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones are having trouble taking their ‘Stairway to Heaven’ lawsuit seriously, and that includes showing up. “Defendants and their counsel, as well as Mr. Jones, have refused to confirm that they will appear despite having been subpoenaed and noticed,” attorney Francis Malofiy complained to US District Court judge Gary Klausner.
Malofiy, who represents the estate of 60s band Spirit, has been arguing that Led Zeppelin blatantly ripped off his client to create one of the biggest songs in modern music history. But that case is now widely regarded as a joke within the industry, especially after earlier examples of the exact same melody started surfacing. That includes a classical piece written in the early 1600s that sounds nearly identical to the progression used in ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ a discovery that puts the contested melody in the public domain.
In that light, it’s easy to understand why Led Zeppelin isn’t playing along with one of the most frivolous cases in music industry history. Zeppelin’s attorneys have yet to respond to Digital Music News on the matter, though it’s entirely possible that this case gets tossed based on that critical discovery.
“Defendants are acting as if this is a concert…”
The case was previously moved from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, where it would be easier to coordinate schedules for the band members. But Malofiy says it’s becoming nearly impossible to coordinate the schedules of the three surviving Zeppelin members. “Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, with the aid of defense counsel, want to dictate the court’s schedule, completely disregarding the difficulties in presenting multiple fact and expert witnesses in a narrow band of time of approximately six hours,” the filing continues. “The lack of common courtesy from defense counsel is, frankly, astonishing. Defendants are acting as if this is a concert where their celebrity status allows them to decide when they will appear.”
Whether Page and Plant will voluntarily offer their time in a reasonable manner remains to be seen, with Molofiy pushing for a court order to compel their attendance.