LED ZEPPELIN Wins "Stairway To Heaven" Copyright Battle; U.S. Supreme Court Denies Case
October 5, 2020, a year ago
Earlier today, October 5, Led Zeppelin was the victor in the final step of its “Stairway To Heaven” copyright battle, reports Nancy Dillon of The New York Daily News.
The U.S. Supreme Court “denied” a request by the estate of guitar prodigy Randy Wolfe to hear a last-ditch appeal in the long-running case. The rejection means a lower court verdict that found Led Zeppelin didn’t infringe on Wolfe’s work will stand.
Wolfe’s estate filed the underlying lawsuit more than five years ago, claiming the instantly recognizable opening of Led Zeppelin’s signature song “Stairway To Heaven” is nearly identical to a guitar riff played by Wolfe in “Taurus”, a copyright-protected song he wrote for his 1960s California band Spirit.
A federal court jury in Los Angeles ultimately sided with the iconic British band after singer Robert Plant, 72, and guitarist Jimmy Page, 76, testified at trial.
Wolfe, also known as Randy California, died in 1997 in a tragic drowning while saving his son from a riptide in Hawaii. His sisters supported the lawsuit brought by trustee Michael Skidmore.
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