It’s one of the most iconic rock songs of all-time: “Stairway to Heaven.” But the Led Zeppelin classic has been the subject of a court battle over copyright infringement in recent years, and a new group of judges will give the case another listen.
The band has convinced a panel of judges in California to hear their appeal . A lawsuit alleged the group stole the 1971 epic from an obscure 1960s track by Randy Wolfe and his band Spirit.
Led Zeppelin was initially vindicated during a 2016 trial when a jury found that “Stairway to “Heaven” did not significantly resemble “Taurus,” but a new trial was later ordered when an appeals court panel ruled that the jury should have been able to hear the actual song. The jury only heard renditions of “Taurus” based on sheet music – ironically because of copyright issues. Led Zeppelin was seeking a broader rehearing by the appeals court and that's what they were awarded.
“Stairway to Heaven” has some of the same intricate chord progressions as “Taurus,” but the Spirit song is an instrumental. Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page insist that they wrote the words and music to “Stairway to Heaven” and that it is all original.