Led Zeppelin say that the lawyer for the estate of former Spirit guitarist Randy Wolfe is attempting to “taint the jury pool” by claiming that the band would not show up to court in the “Stairway to Heaven” copyright dispute.
In a motion, Led Zeppelin’s lawyers wrote that Francis Malofiy falsely claimed that Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones had refused to appear in court during a pretrial conference in April. They have also claimed that Malofiy reasserted this claim to reporters outside of the courthouse. In the motion, this is referred to as a “PR stunt,” and it is also claimed that Malofiy later attempted to revive the news by filing a motion designed to make it seem like the court had ordered Led Zeppelin to appear.
The band’s motion calls these claims “pure fiction,” and asserts that Plant and Page had always intended to attend the trial, and that Jones would appear as a witness for the defense.
The band’s lawyers accuse Malofiy of attempting to delay the trial, and the motion additionally claims that Malofiy tried to serve subpoenas to Plant and Page that listed the wrong date, and that also were void due to the fact that the two musicians resided in England (outside the court’s jurisdiction). “Plaintiff’s gambit, and his ongoing efforts to try this case in the press, should be rejected,” the motion reads.
The copyright dispute over “Stairway to Heaven” began in 2014, when a trustee for Randy Wolfe’s estate sued Led Zeppelin, claiming that the band stole the intro to “Stairway” from Spirit’s 1968 song “Taurus.”