Zeppelin: Stairway To Appeals

Lawyers for Led Zeppelin have appealed to a federal court to reconsider its recent ruling in the "Stairway to Heaven" copyright lawsuit filed by the estate of the late Spirit songwriter and guitarist Randy "California" Wolfe.


The lawsuit stems from parts of "Stairway to Heaven" being very similar to Spirit's "Taurus." In their brief filed last week, Zeppelin's lawyers point out that the appeals court's ruling could "cause jurors to find infringement just because the same unprotected elements are present, upsetting the 'delicate balance'" between copyright protection and the freedom of music creators to employ common techniques and musical elements when composing music.

It goes on to state that "if uncorrected," the Ninth Circuit's recent conclusion will "allow a jury to find infringement based on very different uses of public domain material" which, it then argues, "will cause widespread confusion in copyright cases in this circuit."

The original ruling came down in Zeppelin's favor in June 2016. It was overturned by Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this past September.

Mike Bell

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