Led Zeppelin Sued for Copyright-Infringement

Posted by: Malcolm Futhey III at  Monday, August 22, 2016

A federal jury in Pennsylvania recently returned a verdict in favor of Led Zeppelin on a copyright-infringement claim brought by a trust connected to the 1960s band Spirit.  The plaintiff alleged that Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” infringed on Spirit’s song “Taurus,” which was written and performed before “Stairway to Heaven.”  Led Zeppelin’s members claimed they were unaware of the song “Taurus” until 2014 and that “Taurus” had no influence on “Stairway to Heaven.”  The plaintiff argued that Led Zeppelin’s members had to know of the song in 1968 because Led Zeppelin covered Spirit’s songs and even opened for Spirit.   The plaintiff tried to introduce evidence of Led Zeppelin’s past alleged drug use to explain the bad memory and also sought to introduce other copyright cases against Led Zeppelin.  The court denied both requests. Plaintiff has appealed.

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