Federal Appeals Court Orders New Trial In Copyright Case Over Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven”

According to Variety, a federal appeals court has decided to overturn the jury’s decision in the copyright infringement case involving Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven.” The case was originally brought forward due to the similarities between the track and Spirit’s “Taurus.”

Michael Skidmore, the trustee of “Taurus” songwriter Randy “California” Wolfe’s estate, brought forward the claims more than four decades after “Stairway To Heaven” was released. When the case was taken to court, a Los Angeles jury ended up voting in favor of Led Zeppelin, after listening to both songs.

Skidmore then filed for appeal, which led to a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordering a new trial. Their decision was made based on the judge in the previous trial, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Klausner , giving “instructions that failed to make clear that an arrangement of otherwise unprotectable elements in a song can be sufficiently original to merit copyright protection.”

Circuit Judge Richard A. Paez also said Klausner was wrong for not letting Skidmore’s attorney play “Taurus” while Jimmy Page was testifying.

Paez commented:

“Without a selection and arrangement instruction, the jury instructions severely undermined Skidmore’s argument for extrinsic similarity, which is exactly what the jury found lacking.”

“Given the probative value of the information and the relatively low risk of unfair prejudice, we conclude that the district court abused its discretion in excluding the evidence.”

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Sharon Osbourne Tells AEG Founder To “Bite On Our Assholes” After Ozzy Osbourne Drops Lawsuit

As previously reported, Ozzy Osbourne’s attorney Daniel Wall recently filed a stipulation to dismiss the singer’s anti-trust lawsuit against AEG after they agreed to end their block-booking practices. The company then issued a “victory” statement, which has apparently pissed off Ozzy’s wife Sharon Osbourne, who issued a new statement telling AEG founder Philip Anschutz to “bite on our assholes.”

Sharon said the following:

“We know Mr. Anshultz [sic] (aka “Daddy Big Bucks”) is living in his billionaire bubble, but the fact is that Ozzy sued AEG for the right to perform at the O2 in London. We won the case and Ozzy’s show at the O2 went on sale on September 5 for a show next year (February 11, 2019)–so in my world that means we won the case.

Ozzy is playing the O2 without having to play the Staples Center, which is all that mattered to us. From the start of this dialogue in February, this has been a battle about respect for the artists and their personal preferences. It wasn’t then and isn’t now a battle between promoters, which is how this is being portrayed by the recent statement from AEG claiming this as a “victory.”

To say that this “suit was instigated by Azoff and paid for by MSG and Live Nation,” and that “it was hatched on the back of an artist who we believe had no idea what he was biting off,” is untrue and disrespectful to Ozzy, myself and the entire team working on this tour.

Whatever differences you have with Irving Azoff, don’t presume you know who instigated the lawsuit or you know anything about Ozzy Osbourne, because you obviously don’t know anything about Ozzy’s history or mine. So stop with your hubbildy, bubbuldy BULLSHIT and your little pissing contest with Live Nation and MSG.

Regarding the allegations in the AEG statement that this “suit was a transparent public relations ploy,” if that was indeed the case, why then did AEG rush out a statement of victory? While we, throughout this process, until now have only made one statement around the initial filing.

Ozzy’s preference was to perform at The Forum, a venue that has been a part of his music history for more than 46 years. From the start, this was not a battle solely for Ozzy, as much as one for other artists who were being forced to abide by these rules and regulations. Let’s not all forget why you’re here … the artists.

The only thing remotely interesting in your statement was your pitiful attempt at humor with your quote that Ozzy “had no idea what he was biting off.” If you’re interested, Ozzy and I have got something nice for you [to] bite on … our assholes … see ya loser!”

Ozzy Osbourne Drops AEG Lawsuit After Company Ends Block Booking Policy

According to Billboard, Ozzy Osbourne’s attorney Daniel Wall has filed a stipulation to dismiss the singer’s lawsuit against AEG. Osbourne originally filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the company for “blackmail,” due to the company trying to use block-booking practices to get him to play at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. However, AEG has now decided to end that policy.

AEG commented:

“On Friday, Ozzy Osbourne dismissed the class action lawsuit he filed against AEG. This dismissal with prejudice is a victory for AEG. We were fully prepared to see the case through to vindicate our policy, but now that Osbourne has decided to dismiss with prejudice, the case is over.

Our policy was an appropriate, lawful and effective competitive response to Irving Azoff’s pressure tactics seeking to force artists into the Forum. If those tactics resurface, we will redeploy our policy as needed.

The Osbourne suit was instigated by Azoff and paid for by MSG and Live Nation. It was hatched on the back of an artist who we believe had no idea what he was biting off. The suit was a transparent public relations ploy that failed to pressure AEG into backing down from a booking policy that was an effective competitive response to the MSG-Forum tie.

It is no surprise that once AEG refused to back down, Azoff, MSG and Live Nation became eager to drop the case as soon as possible. They dismissed the case with prejudice after realizing AEG would aggressively defend it, costing them tens of millions of dollars and posing a source of embarrassment once their questionable tactics were exposed in the course of discovery and trial.”

Osbourne was supposed perform at the AEG owned O2 Arena in London on February 11, 2019, and as part of the deal AEG tried to say that if he had a Live Nation promoted indoor concert within 25 miles of Los Angeles, he would also have to play the AEG owned Staples Center. The frontman felt that was a violation of antitrust laws, which are supposed to stop businesses from getting a stranglehold on customers.

In a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, AEG said Osbourne could not claim anti-trust injury due to the policy tying the promoter to the agreement rather than the artist. Wall said the company was misleading the court and that they were aware that their policy makes artists play the Los Angeles venue whether they want to or not.

Iron Maiden Reportedly Respond To Lawsuit Filed By Former Singer Dennis Willcock

Back in June, it was revealed that Iron Maiden‘s Steve Harris and Dave Murray and their publishing company Imagem London Limited were being sued by former singer Dennis Willcock over songwriting credits. Now, Ham & High are reporting that the band have responded to the dispute.

Attorney Barry McKay filed a copyright dispute on behalf of Willcock who claimed he wrote lyrics for “Prowler“, “Charlotte The Harlot“, “Phantom Of The Opera” and “Iron Maiden“ back in 1977, and that he also co-wrote “Prodigal Son” with Harris. Iron Maiden have since said that Harris was the one that wrote the lyrics in question.

The group did admit that there is a songwriting credits error on “Charlotte The Harlot,” but made it clear that Harris’ name was missing and that he should be credited along with Murray, not Willcock. Documents reportedly state that “The lyrics [for the song] were written by Mr. Harris in or around 1977 to accompany music written by Mr. Murray, who had joined Iron Maiden in late 1976.”

The band also admitted that Willcock changed three words in “Prowler” and two words in “Charlotte The Harlot,” but they did question whether or not Willcock could even remember his contributions:

“[He] was, when he was a member of Iron Maiden, notorious for forgetting lyrics for the band’s songs, or missing out words or singing the wrong words. He … even had to sing from lyric sheets at live performances. Accordingly, it is implausible that Mr. Wilcock can now remember lyrics he allegedly wrote some 40 years ago.”

McKay reportedly responded by saying he can’t wait to go to court.

Judge Rules Ozzy Osbourne’s Antitrust Lawsuit Against AEG Can Move Forward

According to the Hollywood Reporter, U.S. District Court Judge Dale Fischer has ruled that Ozzy Osbourne’s anti-trust lawsuit against AEG can move forward. Osbourne originally filed the suit for “blackmail” after the company tried to use block-booking practices to get him to play at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The singer was supposed to perform at the AEG owned O2 Arena in London on February 11, 2019, and as part of the deal AEG tried to say that if he had a Live Nation promoted indoor concert within 25 miles of Los Angeles, he would also have to play the AEG owned Staples Center. Osbourne feels this is a violation of the antitrust laws, which are supposed to stop businesses from getting a stranglehold on customers.

In his ruling, Fisher said the following about the situation:

“AEG argues that Ozzy was free to play anywhere he liked in Los Angeles as long as he did not use Live Nation as his promoter to do so. As Ozzy points out, this take on the allegations doesn’t necessarily make AEG’s actions less anticompetitive. But it is arguably different from what is pleaded in the complaint. … In any event, it is clear that the complaint alleges that Ozzy personally suffers damage in a fairly direct and non-speculative way by not being able to play in his preferred venues and that the damage stems from the kind of conduct that antitrust law is intended to prevent. AEG is alleged to be using market power in one market to foreclose competition in another through a tying arrangement. That tie allegedly harms Ozzy by constricting his choices on where to play his concerts regardless of whether Ozzy’s or his concert promoter’s name is on the contract with the venue.”

The ruling goes on to say that Osbourne has adequately alleged that he has been coerced. The judge also added:

“Finally, a plaintiff does not need to show anticompetitive effects in a per se tying case, but Ozzy has nonetheless made numerous plausible allegations of how competition is harmed, most obviously through the restriction of competition in the tied market.”

A scheduling conference for the case is set to take place on September 10.

Gene Simmons Settles Sexual Battery Lawsuit With Female Journalist

Back in December 2017 a woman, who was said to be a “longtime on-air personality for a local rock station,” filed suit against Gene Simmons (KISS), due to sexual battery, gender violence, battery, gender discrimination, etc. Now, Billboard are reporting that Simmons and the plaintiff told Los Angeles County Supreme Court Judge Daniel S. Murphy that they had reached a settlement. The terms of the agreement have not been made available and both sides still need to file an official request for dismissal. This news comes after Simmons previously said it was dismissed back in April.

Ozzy Osbourne’s Lawyers Say AEG’s Motion To Dismiss Anti-Trust Suit Is “Baseless On The Facts And The Law Alike”

According to Amplify, lawyers for Ozzy Osbourne have responded to AEG’s motion to dismiss his anti-trust claims saying it’s “baseless on the facts and the law alike.” Osbourne originally filed an anti-trust lawsuit against AEG for “blackmail,” due to the company trying to use block-booking practices to get him to play at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The singer was supposed perform at the AEG owned O2 Arena in London on February 11, 2019, and as part of the deal AEG tried to say that if he had a Live Nation promoted indoor concert within 25 miles of Los Angeles, he would also have to play the AEG owned Staples Center. Osbourne feels this is a violation of the antitrust laws, which are supposed to stop businesses from getting a stranglehold on customers.

In AEG’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, they said Osbourne could not claim anti-trust injury due to the policy tying the promoter to the agreement rather than the artist. Attorney Daniel Wall has submitted a rebuttal saying the company is misleading the court and that they are aware that their policy makes artists play the Los Angeles venue whether they want to or not. Wall said the following in his rebuttal:

“Factually, AEG misrepresents its own practices with respect to the tying requirement it enforces, The formal venue hire agreement for the O2 referenced in the Staples Center Commitment unambiguously requires the promoter to ensure that the artist plays Staples when in Los Angeles.”