24 June 2016

Led Zeppelin wins copyright case over ‘Stairway to Heaven’

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.

The verdict came from an eight-member jury at The US District Court for the Central District of California.

The complaint was filed back in 2014 by Michael Skidmore on behalf of the late Spirit member Randy Craig Wolfe, also known as Randy California, who claimed that “Stairway to Heaven” infringed Spirit’s song “Taurus”.

Skidmore sought over $40 million in damages and requested that Wolfe be credited on “Stairway to Heaven”.

Following the decision, Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page and Robert Plant reportedly said: “We are grateful for the jury’s conscientious service and pleased that it has ruled in our favour, putting to rest questions about the origins of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and confirming what we have known for 45 years.”

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More on this story

9 August 2016   The publisher for UK rock band Led Zeppelin, music company Warner/Chappell, has lost its request for almost $800,000 in damages following the “Stairway to Heaven” copyright case.
21 March 2017   Rock band Led Zeppelin may have won the copyright battle over their song “Stairway to Heaven” at the US District Court for the Central District of California, but they haven’t won the war.
17 August 2020   The US Supreme Court has been asked to intervene in the long-running copyright dispute over authorship of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven”.