Legendary British rock band Led Zeppelin, comes out on top after a long-standing legal battle. Following claims that the group plagiarized the opening guitar riff from their signature 1971 classic, “Stairway to Heaven.”
The rock-and-roll act was pronounced victorious after the US Supreme Court rejected the case.
Now the backstory regarding the six-year case, were accusations that Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page and Robert Plant took an opening rift from a 1971 song entitled “Taurus.” Written by the late Randy Wolfe, who played in a band dubbed Spirit in 1971. The performer, Wolfe, who went by the stage name Randy California, passed away in 1997.
The lawsuit had the potential of exposing Plant and Page to millions of dollars in damages. However, the courts didn’t find proof that breached the copyright of the record. Thus, making the British group winners of the case in 2016. Although Led Zeppelin were the openers for Spirit during a 1968 tour, Page spoke in a jury trial in Los Angeles in 2016. Stating he had not heard “Taurus” until recently.
“I knew I had never heard that before,” Page stated. “It was totally alien to me.”
Per reports, Wolfe’s estate representative, Francis Malofiy, stated that Led Zeppelin won via “a technicality.” However, also made clear that the lawsuit had accomplished its goal.
“Today, the world knows that: 1) Randy California wrote the introduction to ‘Stairway to Heaven’; 2) Led Zeppelin are the greatest art thieves of all time; and 3) Courts are as imperfect as rock stars,” said Malofiy.
During the period that the case was on trial, “Stairway to Heaven” reportedly grossed $3.4 million. In addition, will go down in history as one of the music industry’s most closely watched copyright cases.