The ongoing copyright dispute over Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven,” will now go to trial after a former Spirit guitarist Randy Wolfe has filed a case against the legendary rock 'n' roll band.
The ongoing copyright dispute over Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven,” will now go to trial after a former Spirit guitarist Randy Wolfe has filed a case against the legendary rock ‘n’ roll band. The two groups played several shows together between 1968 and 1970, and Zeppelin reportedly played a medley of songs that included Spirit's "Fresh-Garbage," a song that appeared on the same LP side as "Taurus," on their first U.S. tour.
Last week, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner ruled that there’s enough evidence to move ahead with a trial to decide whether Led Zeppelin and guitarist Jimmy Page unlawfully utilized the guitar line from the Spirit song “Taurus,” which was wrote years before the “Stairway To Heaven” classic in 1971.
"The Court finds that Plaintiff has demonstrated 'enough similar protectable expression here that the issue of substantial similarity should proceed to the jury,'" Klausner wrote, quoting the case Scentsy, Inc. v. Harmony Brands. He added, "What remains is a subjective assessment of the 'concept and feel' of two works, a task no more suitable for a judge than for a jury."
The lawsuit was originally filed with a Philadelphia court back in 2014, simultaneously when Led Zeppelin released a newly remastered version of the chart hit. The new trial date for the copy-wright case will take place May 10th in Los Angeles.