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Led Zeppelin prevails in 'Stairway' Copyright Infringement suit

Rock ‘n Roll fans around the world have been closely following the Copyright infringement lawsuit over “Stairway to Heaven,” one of Led Zeppelin’s biggest hits. As we discussed back in April, the estate of the guitarist from 1960s rock band Spirit sued ex-Zeppelin members Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, alleging that they lifted “Stairway’s” opening guitar riff from a Spirit song.

As CNN reports, the trial ended earlier in June, and the jury sided with the defendants. Jurors ruled that the songs are not similar enough to indicate that Page and Plant, the composers of 1971’s “Stairway,” violated the Spirit guitarist’s Copyright over “Taurus,” a Spirit song released in 1967.

Much of the trial centered on whether or not Page and Plant had heard “Taurus” before writing “Stairway.” In their testimony, the rock legends denied knowing about the song, but an attorney for the estate presented evidence that the two had seen Spirit in concert, socialized with the band and owned at least one copy of “Taurus.”

Still, the jury ruled in favor of the defendants after five hours of deliberation, finding the songs were not substantially similar enough. In a statement, Page and Plant said they were “grateful” for the verdict, which they said “confirm[ed] what we have known for 45 years.”

In this case, millions of dollars in royalties and licensing fees were at stake. But a Copyright case need not be so high-profile to be vitally important to your Arizona business. If you are involved in a Copyright dispute, you will need a skilled Intellectual Property attorney to help you make your case.

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