Led Zeppelin has US Government support in copyright appeal

Being one of the most talked about copyright cases over the last few years, the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ copyright claim filed against Led Zeppelin gained lots of opinions through 2015.

Everyone with a love of IP and music was putting their opinions in and coming down on either the infringement or no infringement side.
It seems the matter is going to come back into headlines again and this time Led Zeppelin have a heavyweight in their corner.

The US Government have expressed their views on the matter stating that copyright protection for recorded songs should not cover the ‘performance’ elements and therefore Led Zeppelin should not be found to be infringing Spirit’s song ‘Taurus’.

The case originated in 2015 where the estate of Randy Wolfe, the late singer of the band Spirit, claimed that ‘Stairway to Heaven’ stole elements from the 1976 song ‘Taurus’. Initially, Led Zeppelin was up, as the Californian District Court ruled in their favour.

However, on appeal by the Estate, it has been agreed that the matter will be re-heard as the point of sheet music is at contention.

It will be interesting to see if Led Zeppelin’s new support will have an impact on the case and whether we are on the road to copyright hell with this case.

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