Inside the 'Stairway to Heaven' Lawsuit: Everything You Need to Know
The trust for Wolfe, better known as Randy California, claimed Page and Plant were familiar with his work and stole a riff from the short tune "Taurus" that repeats throughout the first two minutes of their classic rock anthem.
Wolfe's trust had won been seeking credit for the song and millions of dollars in damages. But jurors found the tunes were not similar enough for Led Zeppelin to have violated the copyright protection of "Taurus."
Attorneys for Led Zeppelin sought legal and other fees totaling $793,000 because insurance companies would not cover such an old claim.
They argued that the lawsuit was frivolous, it was brought to shake down the rock stars for money and that awarding defense costs would deter future old and meritless copyright claims.
Classic Artists Whose Most Popular Song Isn't Their Biggest Hit
Klausner rejected those arguments, saying he had found the lawsuit had enough merit to go to trial and there was no evidence the plaintiff "harbored nefarious motives."
Klausner acknowledged that Led Zeppelin's lawyers succeeded at trial and had shown a right to compensation. But in the end it was up to his discretion, and he sided with Wolfe's trustee.