Led Zeppelin triumphed in a long-standing copyright dispute after a US court of appeal ruled they hadn’t stolen the opening riff from Stairway To Heaven.
British rock legends were accused in 2014 of snatching a song called Taurus from the American group Spirit.
Taurus was written in 1968, three years before Stairway To Heaven.
Now, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has confirmed a 2016 verdict that concluded that Led Zeppelin had not copied it.
Stairway To Heaven appears regularly on the lists of the greatest rock songs ever written, and the affair was one of the oldest and most watched conflicts in the music industry.
Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page, who wrote the song, could have paid millions of dollars in damages if they had lost.
The song Spirit was written by guitarist guitarist Randy Wolfe, known as Randy California, who died in 1997. The case was brought up by Michael Skidmore, an estate trustee.
Led Zeppelin and Spirit played together after writing Taurus, and Mr. Skidmore suggested that Page could have written his riff after hearing Taurus live. He claimed that the songs had similar chord progressions.
The case was the subject of a high-profile trial in 2016, during which Page and Plant testified. The jury rejected the request at that time, deciding that the tracks were “not inherently similar”.
However, in 2018, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the trial judge had made a series of errors and ordered a new hearing.
On Monday, a panel of 11 judges revealed its 9-2 decision that Stairway To Heaven did not infringe on the copyright of the song Spirit.
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