Led Zeppelin wins copyright battle after US Supreme Court declines to hear case claiming Stairway To Heaven was similar to Spirit song Taurus
Six years of litigation over the authenticity of Led Zeppelin’s classic song Stairway To Heaven is over.
The U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition aimed at reviving the copyright battle that alleged the legendary English rock band stole parts of its 1971 epic tune from the 1968 song Taurus by the American band Spirit.
The high court did not explain why it declined to take on the case.
The song remains the same: The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the copyright dispute over Led Zeppelin’s classic song Stairway To Heaven, ending six years of litigation; the tune was written by lead singer Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page
By refusing to review the case, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in March, upholding a jury verdict in favor of Stairway To Heaven songwriters Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, will remain intact.
Michael Skidmore, a trustee for late Spirit guitarist Randy California (born Randy Wolfe), first filed the copyright lawsuit in 2014, claiming the intro to the Led Zeppelin tune had similarities to Taurus, which is an instrumental.
The two groups were very familiar with each other as the two rock band toured together from 1968 to 1969.
The claim: Michael Skidmore, a trustee for late Spirit guitarist Randy California (born Randy Wolfe), first filed the copyright lawsuit in 2014, claiming the intro to Stairway To Heaven had similarities to Spirit’s song Taurus, which is an instrumental
Tour mates: Spirit and Led Zeppelin were very familiar with each other as the two rock band toured together from 1968 to 1969, before Stairway To Heaven was written
During the proceedings Page testified that he wrote the music for Stairway To Heaven and Plant penned the lyrics, and that both were original.
A judge agreed that there were enough similarities between the two songs to move ahead with the case in April 2016, but a jury disagreed with the ruling just two months later, according to People.
Skidmore filed an appeal on multiple grounds including the claim that jury members didn’t get to hear Taurus before making their decision.
From there the case went to federal appeals court in San Francisco in the aforementioned March hearing that was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, October 5.
Legendary: The Jimmy Page and Robert Plant penned tune is widely considered among the greatest and most popular rock songs of all time; they are pictured in October 2012
Stairway To Heaven, which appeared on its untitled fourth studio album (typically called Led Zeppelin IV), is often considered one of the greatest and most popular rock songs of all time.
The 8:02 epic has three sections, with each one progressively increasing in tempo and volume, that begins with acoustic instruments and eventually transitions into electric guitars.
The final section is an uptempo hard rock arrangement that’s highlighted by Page’s intricate guitar solo and Plant’s final a cappella line: ‘And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.’