Led Zeppelin Wins Long-Running Copyright Battle for “Stairway to Heaven”

269
Robert Plant and Jimmy Page circa 1970 New York. (Photo by Art Zelin/Getty Images)

A US appeals court has ruled in Led Zeppelin‘s favor after a lengthy copyright dispute over whether the band ripped off the opening riff in “Stairway to Heaven.” The song in question is called “Taurus” by the band Spirit. “Taurus” was written in 1968, three years prior to “Stairway to Heaven.”

Zeppelin was accused back in 2014 of plagiarizing the opening part when journalist Michael Skidmore filed suit on behalf of the estate of Randy Wolfe, Spirit’s late guitarist/vocalist. The lawsuit claimed that the notorious intro was too similar to Spirit’s “Taurus.”

After a Los Angeles jury cleared Page and Plant in 2016, appeals court judges ordered a new trial in 2018. And now the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has upheld that the English rock band did not infringe the copyright of “Taurus.”

You be the judge: