Led Zeppelin Wins ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Jury Trial

Led Zeppelin Wins ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Jury Trial
Led Zeppelin. Getty Images.

The steps of the “Stairway to Heaven” still lead to Led Zeppelin.

After a week-long trial, it took less than a day of deliberation for a federal jury in Los Angeles on Thursday to find the legendary rock band did not steal the iconic guitar riff from Spirit’s 1968 instrumental track “Taurus.”

The lawsuit, brought by Spirit songwriter Robert Wolfe’s estate, sought to supplant Led Zeppelin as the creative force behind the band’s 1971 hit. The lawsuit, filed in 2015, claimed the songs were “substantially similar” and that the estate was owed tens of millions of dollars in royalties.

Days of testimony, which included appearances by Led Zeppelin band members Robert Plant and Jimmy Page as well as musicologists and other experts, convinced a jury otherwise.

Page and Plant issued a joint statement after the verdict expressing relief.

“We are grateful for the jury’s conscientious service and pleased that it has ruled in our favor, putting to rest questions about the origins of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and confirming what we have known for 45 years,” the statement reads. “We appreciate our fans’ support and look forward to putting this legal matter behind us.”

Several subsidiaries of New York-based Warner Music Group would have also been on the hook if the jury had ruled in the Wolfe estate’s favor.

Legal reporter Henry Meier can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @henry_meier.

No posts to display