Classics Du Jour


Judge Rules Against Led Zeppelin in First Hearing of ‘Stairway To Heaven’ Lawsuit

Led Zeppelin has encountered several copyright claims over their music in their years as a band, but the latest claim may be one they can’t escape.

Earlier this year, the friends and estate of the late Randy California claimed Led Zeppelin had stolen “Stairway To Heaven” from the Spirit frontman before making it a massive hit.

Now, a Pennsylvania judge has ruled against Led Zeppelin in a first hearing.

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss based on the fact that the members of Led Zeppelin have no ties to Pennsylvania.

However, the plaintiff argued that Led Zeppelin are subject to specific jurisdiction in the district because they “make millions of dollars from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by directly targeting [the] district for the exploitation of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ through CD sales, digital downloading, radio and television play, advertising, marketing, concert performances, other performances, licensing and otherwise targeting resident individuals and businesses to profit off the exploitation of ‘Stairway to Heaven.'”

Despite the fact that U.S. District Court Judge Juan Sanchez ruled in favor of the plaintiff, Led Zeppelin may still try for another dismissal.

The friends and estate of Randy California claim that Led Zeppelin stole the guitar riff from their song ‘Taurus’ in 1968 while the two bands were on tour together, and that riff became the now iconic opening to Led Zeppelin’s massive hit ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ The plaintiffs are seeking both financial compensation and writing credit for the late Spirit guitarist. Hear the two songs here.

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