Led Zeppelin asks judge to end 'Stairway to Heaven' trial

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Led Zeppelin is seeking an expressway to victory in its "Stairway to Heaven" trial.

Lawyers for the group, which is accused of ripping off another song in writing their 1971 classic "Stairway to Heaven," have asked judge R. Gary Klausner to rule in their favor, claiming the plaintiff, who rested on Friday, failed to make his case.

The group is being sued by Michael Skidmore, trustee of the Randy Craig Wolfe. Skidmore asserts that "Stairway" infringes on the 1968 Spirit song "Taurus," written by Spirit frontman Randy California (real name: Randy Craig Wolfe).

Skidmore says that Zeppelin would have been familiar with "Taurus," as the group played a handful of early gigs with Spirit. Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page has stated that he never heard the song "Taurus" until a couple of years ago, though he did admit having the album it's contained on in his record collection.

While an eight-member jury has been assembled to issue a verdict, court papers filed Monday by Zeppelin's lawyers ask Klausner to enter judgment in the group's favor.

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Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin plays a Gibson Les Paul Standard guitar with a violin bow while performing on stage at Oude Rai on 27th May 1972 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns)
Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page talks to Gavin Esler about the 40th anniversary re-release of 'Physical Graffiti.'
In this picture taken Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015, British musician Jimmy Page of rock group Led Zeppelin, laughs during an interview with Associated Press in London. Jimmy Page started the project because he couldn’t believe how bad Led Zeppelin sounded. The legacy of the band he’d devoted much of his life to was being muddied by the way its classic studio albums sounded when reproduced on the ubiquitous MP3 players that are popular today. Instead of accepting that future generations would have to hear a cramped, compressed version of Led Zep’s sonic booms, Page has devoted several years to completely re-mastering the band’s extensive catalog in a labor of love that is, with the release of “Physical Graffiti” on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
GERMANY - MARCH: Led Zeppelin perform live on stage in Germany in March 1973 L-R Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham (1948-1980). (Photo by Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns)
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British rock group Led Zeppelin, performing at Newcastle City Hall, 1st December 1972. Left to right: Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 12: In this handout from the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama talks with the surviving members of Led Zeppelin John Paul Jones, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page during intermission at the Kennedy Center Honors on December 12, 2012 in Washignton, D.C. (Photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images)
Rock band Led Zeppelin, from left, keyboardist/bassist John Paul Jones, singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, stand as the Star Spangled Banner is played during the Kennedy Center Honors Gala at the Kennedy Center in Washington, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012. While Led Zeppelin is being honored as a band, surviving members Jones, Page, and Plant, each received the Kennedy Center Honors. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: (L-R) John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant attend the 'Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day' press conference at the Museum of Modern Art on October 9, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
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"Plaintiff rested and failed to carry his burden of proof on multiple issues," a motion filed in federal court in California states. Accordingly, judgment should be entered in defendants' favor. At a minimum, judgment should be entered in their favor on plaintiff's claims for actual damages and for profits.

Among Team Zep's contentions: That Skidmore does not hold the copyright for "Taurus," and couldn't prove that Zeppelin saw Spirit perform live, despite having shared concert bills.

"There is, in short, no evidence that Led Zeppelin was present when Spirit performed," the motion reads.

They also contend that the testimony from Skidmore's attorneys was "fatally flawed," since they did not disregard commonplace elements between the two songs.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

Read original story Led Zeppelin Asks Judge to End 'Stairway to Heaven' Trial At TheWrap

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