Guardian music “Led Zeppelin ask for Stairway to Heaven plagiarism trial to be dismissed” https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/jun/21/led-zeppelin-stairway-to-heaven-plagiarism-trial-jimmy-page-robert-plant
Singer Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page, as well as Warner Music, argue that the estate of Wolfe failed to prove it owned the copyright to his 1968 song Taurus and that it was substantially similar to Zeppelin’s song, attorney Peter Anderson said. “Plaintiff rested and failed to carry his burden of proof on multiple issues,” Anderson wrote in a motion to dismiss.
US district judge R Gary Klausner is expected hear arguments on the motion when the trial resumes on 21 June.
Wolfe’s estate claims that Page and Plant incorporated a musical phrase from Taurus in the introduction to their 1971 classic.
Anderson said attorney Francis Malofiy had failed to show that members of Led Zeppelin were familiar with the song and experts had not presented a convincing case that the tunes were similar enough to constitute copyright infringement.
Musical experts for the Wolfe estate said there were many similarities between the obscure instrumental Taurus and Stairway, but a defence expert testified on 17 June that the only resemblance was a common descending chord sequence that has been used as a musical building block for 300 years*2 .
Anderson also said the plaintiff failed to show actual damages from any infringement or present evidence of revenues from Stairway to Heaven.
*2:See Reuters “Expert testifies Stairway to Heaven chord progression used 300 years ago” https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/jun/17/music-expert-testifies-stairway-to-heaven-led-zeppelin-trial Randy Lewis and Joel Rubin “Led Zeppelin's three surviving members briefly share courtroom at 'Stairway to Heaven' trial” http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-led-zeppelin-copyright-20160617-snap-story.html