Led Zeppelin Admit to Being ‘Exceptionally Talented’ in Response to Copyright Lawsuit
As expected, lawyers for the surviving members of Led Zeppelin have continued to fight an ongoing plagiarism lawsuit by denying all of the plaintiff's allegations — with one noteworthy, and funny, exception.
Boston.com offers a peek at the band's response to the lawsuit, which includes a passage stating: "Answering paragraph 11 of the First Amended Complaint, including the First Amended Complaint’s footnote 1, defendants admit that Led Zeppelin has been called one of the greatest bands in history and its members were and are exceptionally talented, but otherwise deny each and every allegation contained in paragraph 11 of the First Amended Complaint."
This response was filed in California federal court, where — as previously reported — proceedings recently moved after a change of venue was ordered from Philadelphia, where the suit was originally brought against the band last spring.
At issue is the Zeppelin classic "Stairway to Heaven," a significant portion of which is alleged to have been lifted from the 1968 Spirit song "Taurus." The suit was filed on behalf of deceased Spirit founder and "Taurus" songwriter Randy California, whose estate is currently pursuing the claim.
As Boston.com's report notes, Zeppelin's response also admits that they shared a concert bill with Spirit, and incorporated the band's song "Fresh Garbage" into a medley that made its way into live set lists in 1968-69, but they continue to categorically deny plagiarizing "Taurus" while writing "Stairway to Heaven."
Court proceedings have a long way to go before a verdict is liable to be reached, but the courts haven't always been friendly to Led Zeppelin: previous lawsuits alleging copyright infringement ended with settlements that altered the songwriting credits for "Whole Lotta Love," "Babe I’m Gonna Leave You," "The Lemon Song" and "Dazed and Confused."
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