FILE - This Oct. 9, 2012 file photo shows, from left, Jason Bonham, son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham; singer Robert Plant; bassist John Paul Jones; and guitarist Jimmy Page at the "Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day" premiere in New York. Members of an 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals harshly challenged plaintiffs who argued that a new trial in the copyright fight over Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven is justified. The lawsuit that alleges 1971’s “Stairway” was stolen from 1968’s “Taurus,” by Spirit. (Photo by Dario Cantatore/Invision/AP, File)

Judges may not be buying that 'Stairway' needs new trial

September 23, 2019 - 3:53 pm

A group of US judges don't seem inclined to order a new trial in a copyright fight over the Led Zeppelin song, "Stairway to Heaven."

Members of an 11-judge panel at a Monday hearing before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco harshly challenged plaintiffs who argued that a new trial is justified in the lawsuit that alleged 1971's megahit "Stairway" was stolen from 1968's "Taurus," by Spirit.

The estate of the late Randy Wolfe of Spirit lost at a 2016 trial. A judge ordered a new trial, but a three-judge 9th Circuit panel threw out that order.

Plaintiffs' attorney Francis Malofiy (MAL'-uh-fee) argued that the copyrighted composition of "Taurus" should include the song as performed, not merely as written on paper. Judges were skeptical.

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