Led Zeppelin Found Not Guilty Of Copyright Infringement On ‘Stairway To Heaven’
Led Zeppelin were cleared of copyright infringement charges on Thursday — when a Los Angeles jury decided the band did not steal from Spirit’s “Taurus” when writing “Stairway to Heaven.”
Led Zeppelin Found Not Guilty In Copyright Suit
Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page were accused of copying key note patterns in the first two minutes of their hit single from Spirit’s song “Taurus” — a ballad released four years prior to “Stairway to Heaven.” Led Zeppelin even opened for Spirit in 1968, making their U.S. debut.
The copyright suit was filed for partial songwriting credit and compensation by the estate of a deceased Spirit musician, Randy Craig Wolfe.
In a statement issued after the verdict was announced, Led Zeppelin said they were “grateful” that the jury “ruled in our favor, putting to rest questions about the origins of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and confirming what we have known for 45 years.”
The plaintiff could not prove that Plant and Page were familiar with “Taurus” or prove that the songs were similar.
Over the years, musicians have been accused of plagiarism and within the music industry copyright cases are often based on accidental slips in a track.
Last year, Sam Smith discovered his hit “Stay With Me” was similar to the Tom Petty single “I Won’t Back Down” and Smith decided he would share royalties with Petty.
Petty said about the issue: “All my years of songwriting have shown me these things can happen … A musical accident, no more, no less.”