Led Zeppelin win Stairway To Heaven copyright court case

Led Zeppelin win Stairway To Heaven copyright court case jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG  Wednesday 11th March 2020

Led Zeppelin win Stairway To Heaven copyright court case

Led Zeppelin have won the court case accusing them of stealing their song Stairway to Heaven.

The UK band 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.

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.

Circuit judge Margaret McKeown spoke after the verdict, referencing the difficulties in getting to this point.

“This case was carefully considered by the District Court (judge) and the jury,” McKeown said. “The trial and appeal process has been a long climb up the Stairway to Heaven.”

The untitled fourth studio album by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, commonly known as Led Zeppelin IV, was released on 8 November 1971 by Atlantic Records. The fourth track was: Stairway to Heaven. The tracklist for the album is:

  1. Black dog
  2. Rock ‘n’ roll
  3. Battle of Evermore
  4. Stairway to Heaven
  5. Misty mountain hop
  6. Four sticks
  7. Going to California
  8. When the levee breaks
Led Zeppelin IV – The album cover


If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito Dalai Lama


Happiness is… Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin


Son:   Dad, where is the English Channel?

Dad:   Son, I don’t know, our TV does not pick up the signal.


Love is… that smile when you are texting someone special




©2020 Phil M Robinson