Copyright Infringement

Led Zeppelin Handed Copyright Victory by U.S. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has decided not to hear a copyright infringement case over Led Zeppelin’s signature song, “Stairway to Heaven,” handing the band a victory by default.

According to Bloomberg Law and Variety, justices in the case refused to revive a copyright lawsuit that alleged that the English rock band stole its 1971 classic from a lesser-known track released in 1967 by the band Spirit, titled “Taurus.” The court did not explain its reasons for declining the case.

Earlier in the year, a federal appeals court backed up a verdict where a jury found that the band was not guilty of infringement. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled in favor of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page and against the estate of Randy Wolfe, Sprit’s guitarist.

This ruling, and the Supreme Court’s decision to decline the case, is a win for musicians accused of plagiarism. It comes at a time when songwriters like Katy Perry and Robin Thicke have lost major cases.

The case began in May 2014, when Page testified that he composed the music and Plant penned the song’s lyrics—both of which were original.

USA Today – October 5, 2020 – Jenna Ryu

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