Robert Plant, Jimmy Page to go to trial in “Stairway” copyright case



ledzeppelin2007Robert Plant and Jimmy Page are facing a trial in the copyright case surrounding the song “Stairway To Heaven” after a Los Angeles judge ruled there were enough similarities between the song and “Taurus” by the band Spirit to let a jury decide the issue, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

The case stems from a copyright action taken by Michael Skidmore, who is a trustee of the estate of late Spirit guitarist Randy Wolfe. Skidmore says Wolfe should get co-writing credits on “Stairway” and that “Stairway” was written after Plant and Page heard “Spirit” perform the song while on tour with the band in 1968 and 1969.

“While it is true that a descending chromatic four-chord progression is a common convention that abounds in the music industry, the similarities here transcend this core structure,” Judge Gary Klausner said, via the BBC.

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The trial is set for May 10. What’s your opinion on the issue? Take a listen to the two songs below:

Photo credit: “Led Zeppelin 2007” by p_a_h from United Kingdom – flickr.com. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Led_Zeppelin_2007.jpg#/media/File:Led_Zeppelin_2007.jpg

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3 comments to “Robert Plant, Jimmy Page to go to trial in “Stairway” copyright case”
  1. I think they’re hosed. The intros are almost identical, and there’s little doubt that Plant and Page heard Spirit’s song… The only debate in my mind is whether they lifted the intro consciously or not. All artists borrow from works that they encounter. It’s how the human mind learns and grows. The jury doesn’t care about that, though. I think the prosecutor’s got a slam dunk here.

  2. I did not watch the video or listen to the Spirit song, but I am confident that Page and Plant ripped it off. The only weird part is that Spirit wasn’t an African-American blues musician.

  3. I know how this works I remember when Y&T took one of my songs and turned into forever I was crushed I was also being managed by Bill Graham organization and I was playing guitar with Randy Jackson American Idol we were pumping up Tunes like crazy and doing shows with Y&T shame on me for not having my copy offs better not those ripoffs better not ever run into me in a dark alley I may be a detective but I’m also an Oalkland based licensed Bounty Hunter one day I will read my revenge

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