June 23, 2016


Led Zeppelin Victorious in 'Stairway to Heaven' Plagiarism Lawsuit

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Update (6/23, 3:00 P.M.): Robert Plant and Jimmy Page have a shared a joint statement regarding the verdict:

“We are grateful for the jury’s conscientious service and pleased that it has ruled in our favor, putting to rest questions about the origins of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and confirming what we have known for 45 years. We appreciate our fans’ support, and look forward to putting this legal matter behind us.”

Original Story: Led Zeppelin have emerged victorious from a jury trial in which the band was accused of plagiarizing its iconic "Stairway to Heaven" guitar riff. The suit alleged that Led Zeppelin had stolen the music from "Taurus," a song released in 1968 by the band Spirit.  

Rolling Stone reports that lawyers representing the estate of the late Randy Wolfe, who played guitar in Spirit, didn't mount a convincing enough case to prove Led Zeppelin of committing any wrongdoing. The suit was originally filled in 2014, claiming that Zeppelin could have plausibly lifted the song from Spirit, as the two bands shared a number of bills together early in their careers. The jury's decision was delivered less than a day after deliberations began. 

Both guitarist Jimmy Page and vocalist Robert Plant were at the trial in Los Angeles today to hear the verdict, reports Billboard. Page reportedly rejected questions from plaintiff attorney Francis Malofiy claiming that the songs were too similar, but was forced to amend his original claims that "Stairway to Heaven" was written fireside at a Welsh cottage called Bron-Yr-Aur. 

Led Zepp's victory solidifies millions of dollars for the band and for various Warner Music subsidiaries, given the song's enduring popularity and place in pop culture.