This Monday, it was reported that Led Zeppelin has won their copyright dispute regarding “Stairway to Heaven.” CBS News claimed the court came to their conclusion this week.
Reportedly, the legendary rock group had been accused of stealing the opening line from the band, Spirit, who formerly toured with them.
The music industry had been watching the case very closely over the last few months. Back in 2016, the group won the case for the first time, with the court determining that the 1971 classic didn’t breach the copyright of the song from Spirit, “Taurus.” In 2018, the ruling was later overturned in an appeal.
In defense of themselves, Jimmy Page, the guitarist for Led Zeppelin, argued that the chord progression had been around for ages before Taurus used it. Michael Skidmore, who took over the band’s estate after Wolfe died, says Wolfe always wanted to get credit for the song.
However, he died in 1997 from drowning before ever having the chance to take the band to court. The court determined that the chord progression had been used in so many other songs in the past that copyright claims couldn’t apply to it, despite the similarities between the two tracks.
Led Zeppelin‘s song, “Stairway To Heaven,” has gone down in history as being one of the most popular tracks ever created. Led Zeppelin was already a massive force in the rock scene at that point in their career, but the song is intimately tied with the band and that era of rock music.
This wouldn’t be the first time a performing artist was in the headlines this year for copyright infringement. Ed Sheeran has also come under fire for plagiarism a number of times over his career, including for songs like, “The Rest of Our Life.”
Ed and his team have also been sued by the estate of Marvin Gaye for his song, “Thinking Out Loud,” which is one of the biggest songs ever written by Ed. Music fans have noted that the two songs feature very similar chord progressions but with entirely different vocal melodies and lyrics.