Led Zeppelin did not plagiarize the opening chords of the iconic hit Stairway To Heaven," a Los Angeles jury ruled today. It's a case that could have cost $10's of millions in back and future royalties, but may still help reshape modern copyright law.
It took a jury in Los Angeles less than a full day of deliberation to decided that Led Zeppelin did not steal the intro to the classic Stairway to Heaven."
The trust for the late songwriter Randy Wolfe of Spirit claimed that Jimmy Page and Robert Plant stole the opening riff from Wolfe's 1968 instrumental Taurus." Page, Plant and bassist John Paul Jones all testified in the case.
Experts for Wolfe claimed that the two songs have many similarities; while defense experts testified that they shared a only a common musical chord progression used by other songs, as well.
Here's a comparison of the two songs:
STATEMENTS FROM LED ZEPPELIN AND WARNER MUSIC GROUP REGARDING “STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN” TRIAL VERDICT
“We are grateful for the jury’s conscientious service and pleased that it has ruled in our favor, putting to rest questions about the origins of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and confirming what we have known for 45 years. We appreciate our fans’ support, and look forward to putting this legal matter behind us.”Jimmy Page and Robert Plant
“At Warner Music Group, supporting our artists and protecting their creative freedom is paramount. We are pleased that the jury found in favor of Led Zeppelin, re-affirming the true origins of 'Stairway to Heaven’. Led Zeppelin is one of the greatest bands in history, and Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are peerless songwriters who created many of rock’s most influential and enduring songs."WMG Spokesperson
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