Lawyers for Robert Plant and Jimmy Page have confirmed the Led Zeppelin members will attend the upcoming trial to defend a copyright infringement lawsuit over the band’s signature song, “Stairway To Heaven”, when it starts on June 14.
The suit – brought by Randy California's estate and members of Spirit by trustee Michael Skidmore – claims the acoustic introduction to 1971’s “Stairway” was lifted from their 1968 instrumental “Taurus.”
The Wrap reports plaintiff’s attorney Francis Malofiy brought a motion in a California federal court on May 17 requesting U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner to order the Page and Plant to attend the proceedings to testify or risk a penalty of default, with the jury to be instructed to draw a negative inference from their failure to appear.
Malofiy claims the pair’s "refusal to specify if they will appear is causing havoc.”
“Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, with the aid of defense counsel, want to dictate the court’s schedule,” the filing reads. “The lack of common courtesy from defense counsel is, frankly, astonishing. Defendants are acting as if this is a concert where their celebrity status allows them to decide when they will appear.”
However, Led Zeppelin’s attorneys confirmed the pair would be on site for the proceedings in an email sent to Malofiy on May 6, writing "We have previously made it clear that Messrs. Page and Plant will attend the trial, but with them coming from England we cannot guarantee the day they will arrive."
“[T}here is no way Plaintiff can accurately account for and schedule his witnesses and deposition designations — and present his case-in-chief effectively — if he does not know whether the three main Defendants and witnesses will be present,” Tuesday’s filing reads.
Malofiy goes on to assert that Plant and bassist John Paul Jones “regularly conduct business in person in Los Angeles and California,” citing tour dates, and that, given “that they are multimillionaires, many times over, and are already attending trial, compelling attendance presents no actual financial difficulty.”
Klausner previously ruled that the jury trial would last less than a week and attorneys would have no more than 10 hours per side to present evidence.
“Stairway To Heaven” appeared on the UK band’s 1971 album, “Led Zeppelin IV.”
One of the best-selling albums in music history, the project went on to sell more than 37 million copies worldwide, including 23 million in the US alone.
AUDIO: Train preview Led Zeppelin II covers album
Led Zeppelin: Stairway To Heaven trial delayed
Led Zeppelin merchandise sales record beaten by Kobe Bryant
Led Zeppelin: Stairway To Heaven trial update
Search Led Zeppelin at hennemusic