British rock band Led Zeppelin. Twitter
Legendary rock band Led Zeppelin would most certainly be over the moon, for they have won the court case accusing them of stealing their song “Stairway to Heaven.”
The UK group were accused of stealing the 1971 rock classic from the song “Taurus,” written by Randy Wolfe, a guitarist in the band Spirit.
Wolfe died in 1997, but Michael Skidmore, a trustee of his estate, sought damages in 2014 for “Taurus,” which was written in 1968, three years prior to “Stairway to Heaven.”
The lawsuit claimed that the famous introduction to “Stairway to Heaven” was too similar to the riff in “Taurus,” a record that guitarist Jimmy Page admitted to owning.
Led Zeppelin played live with Spirit after the release of “Taurus,” and Mr Skidmore claimed that Page wrote the riff after listening to it live.
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After the verdict, Francis Malofiy, the lawyer for Mr Skidmore, said: “Obviously, the court got it wrong.
“This is a big loss for creators, those who copyright laws are meant to protect.”
The jury rejected the original case in a 2016 trial, but in 2018 the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals decided to try the case, feeling that the judge in the previous case had made too many errors.
Finally, on Monday, the panel of 11 judges revealed they had decided by a verdict of 9-2 that the song did not infringe the copyright of “Taurus.”
Speaking after the verdict, circuit judge Margaret McKeown said, “This case was carefully considered by the District Court (judge) and the jury.
“The trial and appeal process has been a long climb up the ‘Stairway to Heaven.’”
British rock band Led Zeppelin on Monday effectively won a long-running legal battle over claims it stole the opening guitar riff from its signature 1971 song "Stairway to Heaven."
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