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Led Zep Getting Sued Re: "Stairway"


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So, how much does it cost them to go on a fishing expedition like this?

Probably pro bono if the lawyer believes in the case enough. Too bad Zep's old manager from the Song remains the Same concert is not around. He could make them an offer they can't refuse.

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".. from which the chord progression is allegedly lifted."

The "chord progression"? Seriously? You know how many songs have the same chord progression? About a gazillion.

Seems to me that there has to be more than a similar chord progression to constitute a knock-off. But like everything else in the courtroom, it's going to be left up to a box of 6 to 12 idiots and a tone-deaf judge to decide the issue.

The court-system is filled with this nonsense.

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To get around the a statute of limitations defense, the author(s) of "Taurus" would argue that each recorded or live performance or sale is generating income and is a continuing violation of the copyrighted property rights.

Led Zep would argue estoppel, that Spirit should have complained a lot earlier and can't do it now.

Then bring on the lawyers at upwards of $800 per hour. to defend the claims. Plaintiff's lawyers could get 1/3 or 40% of any award if working on a contingency.

Something along those lines.

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I don't think it'll stick. The melody is different. The chord progression, is it the same? or does it just sound the same? falling chromatic bass lines are a staple of music, and have been for decades.

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That's pretty funny. I saw that a couple of years ago. I'm glad you posted it, because I was trying to find it on YouTube and couldn't seem to locate it.

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Gee, I suppose it's not too late for this lawyer to open up most all of rock for payments to the Willie Dixon estate...

How about this blockbuster? Perhaps the estate could sue for wigs?

That Dolly Parton song sounds like a cross between Stairway To Heaven and House Of The Rising Sun, IF you try to think of what other songs sound similar. The song stands on its own.

Thanks! Saved me some typing.

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A lot of songs sound similar...

It is amazing how many themes you can get with for chords with different note combinations and rhythm. There is one scale that just about every historical song, even the football fighting songs all come from. All be played from one neck position, and one scale. Millions of combinations.

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As a music publisher I say the case is extremely weak. They are makin' fools out of themselves.

Then again, I'd hardly ever heard of the band Spirit. So the publicity they create by this may well generate some income for them when people are listening in on Youtube and Spotify etc. In the limelight again after 40 years, for fifteen minutes - then forgotten again. :D

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Could be a question of timing - New deluxe releases of Led Zep I, II, III have been announced and presumably the others will follow. Just read that in 2008 Conde Nast Porfolio estimated that Stairway had generated $562 MILLION over time in record sales and publishing royalties.

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Finally got around to listening to this to see what the hubbub is about. A total reach IMO. Most likely outcome will be Zep settling out of court and cutting a check to the RC estate to make this go away, possibly adding a songwriting credit with a miniscule royalty going forward if their lawyer decides to dig in his heels and pad his billable hours. The heirs have to get their coin where they can. It's not like people are clamoring for Randy California camp shirts and iced tea drinks. He ain't Jimi Hendrix or Bob Marley.

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Finally got around to listening to this to see what the hubbub is about. A total reach IMO. Most likely outcome will be Zep settling out of court and cutting a check to the RC estate to make this go away, possibly adding a songwriting credit with a miniscule royalty going forward if their lawyer decides to dig in his heels and pad his billable hours. The heirs have to get their coin where they can. It's not like people are clamoring for Randy California camp shirts and iced tea drinks. He ain't Jimi Hendrix or Bob Marley.

Doubt they will settle anything. The Warner/Chappell lawyers will tear them to shreads. I'd love to read the correspondance. Lolz.

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Doubt they will settle anything. The Warner/Chappell lawyers will tear them to shreads. I'd love to read the correspondance. Lolz.

Depends on how much effort and resources they want to devote to swatting a fly. But yes, if the lawyer gets greedy, he's toast.

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Doubt they will settle anything. The Warner/Chappell lawyers will tear them to shreads. I'd love to read the correspondance. Lolz.

Depends on how much effort and resources they want to devote to swatting a fly. But yes, if the lawyer gets greedy, he's toast.

WCM have inhouse lawyers. They are p.r.e.t.t.y. good at fighting these things. It's not like they turn up once a year.... They have about 1.5 million songs in their catalogue. Imagine how many times a year they get claims like this on songs they currently have on the charts, from every other kind of weirdo. They are experts at intellectual property.

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When you copyright © a song, it is the MELODY, not the chord progression that is copyrighted.

Melody and lyrics are the protected part of a song.

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