'Stairway to Heaven' decision appealed
Last month, Led Zeppelin won a court case alleging that they had plagiarized parts of “Stairway to Heaven” from a song by the classic rock band Spirit. But attorneys representing Michael Skidmore — a trustee for the estate of Spirit guitarist Randy California — have filed an appeal challenging the decision.
The appeal is notable because besides contesting the overall ruling it takes issue with interlocutory rulings made during the trial — namely the judge’s refusal to let Skidmore’s attorney Francis Malofiy play recordings of the songs in question. Malofiy told Law360 that Led Zeppelin “won a technicality.”
The appeal follows a filing made by Led Zeppelin’ publishing company, Warner/Chappell Music, that sought $613,000 from the case’s plaintiffs to offset legal fees.
While Led Zeppelin commented immediately after the verdict that they were “pleased,” on Saturday guitarist Jimmy Page provided a more in-depth note on his Facebook. “Throughout the lengthy journey to that verdict, and even more recently, I have received and been aware of the overwhelming wave of support, encouragement, and congratulations that has been deeply moving,” he wrote. “I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank all those who contributed such a positive energy to me.”
For more about the trial, revisit EW’s explainer.