“It’s been a long time coming,” That is Attorney Francis Alexander Malofiy’s response to the iconic rock band Led Zeppelin getting sued for plagiarism over their hit Stairway to Heaven.
Malofiy is the lawyer representing the estate of Randy California, the late songwriter, guitarist and member of the band Spirit, who is suing Led Zeppelin.
The band have been served legal papers on behalf of the late Randy California, who claimed for years the track’s opening notes were lifted from their track Taurus.
In a statement to Bloomberg Businessweek, Malofiy said, “The idea behind this is to make sure that Randy California is given a writing credit on Stairway to Heaven.”
Businessweek quotes an estimate that by 2008 Stairway to Heaven earned at least $562 million.
Led Zeppelin played shows with Spirit in 1969, and fans have talked about the similarities between the songs for years, claiming Jimmy Page used the band’s riff.
Page allegedly wrote Stairway to Heaven in 1970, two years after Taurus was released and a year after the band shared stages at gigs across the America.
In 1997, California went public with his claims and said Stairway to Heaven was a “Rip-off, The guys made millions of bucks on it and never said, ‘Thank you,’ never said, ‘Can we pay you some money for it?’ It’s kind of a sore point with me.”
Sources close to California say he never sued because he didn’t have money back then and the band “thought the statute of limitations was done.”
Led Zeppelin is preparing to release re-mastered deluxe versions of their original albums, including the track; California’s trust is taking action with a copyright-infringement suit and an injunction that would block the reissue.