Led Zeppelin’s Publishers Still Seeking to Recoup Legal Fees in ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Trial
Led Zeppelin's publishing company, Warner/Chappell Music, has appealed a judge's ruling denying their bid to have their legal fees covered by the plaintiff in the recent "Stairway to Heaven" plagiarism trial.
Law 360 (via Hennemusic) reports on the appeal, which cites "extensive and ongoing litigation misconduct" by the plaintiff's attorney, Francis Malofiy, as a reason for continuing the case.
Malofiy's conduct could potentially prove to be an intriguing basis for Warner/Chappell's argument. As previously reported, Malofiy has repeatedly run afoul of the bench, and after the "Stairway" case ended, he was hit with a three-month suspension for his behavior in a separate plagiarism trial. In his initial ruling denying Warner/Chappell's bid to have its fees covered by the plaintiff, Judge R. Gary Klausner determined that the case wasn't filed with "nefarious motives" — an assertion that seems likely to be called into question during the appeal.
Warner/Chappell, meanwhile, isn't the only one seeking to appeal a decision surrounding the trial. After unsuccessfully arguing that a chord progression used in the "Stairway to Heaven" intro segment was lifted from the Spirit track "Taurus," and losing its bid to have late Spirit co-founder Randy California's name added to the songwriting credits, the trust acting on behalf of his estate has appealed the verdict. It's currently unknown if or when the case will see a courtroom again, or whether Malofiy remains part of the estate's legal team.
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