21 June 2016Copyright

Led Zeppelin asks judge to dismiss ‘Stairway to Heaven’ trial

Led Zeppelin band members Jimmy Page and Robert Plant have asked a US judge to throw out a copyright lawsuit centring on the song “Stairway to Heaven”.

Last week WIPR reported that Led Zeppelin guitarist Page had taken to the stand to defend himself against allegations of copyright infringement.

The case concerns a claim filed by Michael Skidmore on behalf of the late Randy Craig Wolfe (known by the stage name Randy California).

Skidmore claims Led Zeppelin’s hit song “Stairway to Heaven” infringed Spirit’s song “Taurus”.

In the complaint, it is claimed that Led Zeppelin became familiar with the song when it supported Spirit during various performances across the US in the 1960s.

“Taurus” was released in 1967 and “Stairway to Heaven” in 1971.

Yesterday, June 20, in a motion-to-dismiss the case, attorneys acting for Page and Plant asked Judge Gary Klausner to “halt proceedings” because Skidmore had not established the “elements” of copyright infringement.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the motion argued that the copyright claims fail in the case as the copyright registration of “Taurus” isn’t in evidence.

It added that the plaintiff had not presented evidence that Led Zeppelin had access to “Taurus” or evidence of striking or substantial similarity between the musical compositions.

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More on this story

23 June 2016   The jury considering the copyright infringement trial centred on the Led Zeppelin song “Stairway to Heaven” will deliberate for a second day today.
24 June 2016   Led Zeppelin won a copyright trial over “Stairway to Heaven” yesterday after the British rock group had been accused of copying a song from a less well-known US band, Spirit.
9 February 2018   A music photographer has taken Fox News to court over the use of a photo of Led Zeppelin founder Jimmy Page.