facebook linkedin twitter

Led Zeppelin Did Not Steal ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Riff, Court Rules

March 10, 2020by Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times (TNS)
ENTER-LEDZEPPELIN-RIFF-1-GET

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court decided Monday that the British rock band Led Zeppelin did not steal portions of its iconic hit “Stairway to Heaven” from a guitarist from another band.

The ruling, by an 11-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, stemmed from a lawsuit that accused Led Zeppelin of stealing portions of “Stairway to Heaven” from a song called “Taurus,” which was written by Randy Wolfe of the Los Angeles-based band Spirit.

A jury ruled for Zeppelin, deciding the two songs were not substantially similar. A three-judge 9th Circuit panel later threw out the verdict on the grounds the trial judge gave faulty jury instructions.

Led Zeppelin asked a larger panel to reconsider, and Monday’s decision reinstated the verdict and abrogated a legal rule that the 9th Circuit adopted more than a decade ago.

Under the rule, the stronger the evidence that an artist had access to another’s work, the less compelling the similarities between the two works needed to be in order to prove a copyright violation.

“As a practical matter, the concept of ‘access’ is increasingly diluted in our digitally interconnected world,” wrote Judge M. Margaret McKeown, appointed by President Clinton.

“Given the ubiquity of ways to access media online, from YouTube to subscription services like Netflix and Spotify, access may be established by a trivial showing that the work is available on demand,” she added.

The court noted that the majority of federal appeals courts that have considered the rule have declined to adopt it and that the trial judge did not err by failing to instruct the Led Zeppelin jury on it.

The estate of Wolfe had argued that Led Zeppelin members heard either performances or recordings of “Taurus” before creating “Stairway to Heaven” and therefore had the ability to copy it.

———

©2020 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Law

November 30, 2021
by Dan McCue
Mark Meadows to Cooperate With Jan. 6 Committee

WASHINGTON — Mark Meadows, the former North Carolina congressman and House Freedom Caucus chair, is now the highest ranking member... Read More

WASHINGTON — Mark Meadows, the former North Carolina congressman and House Freedom Caucus chair, is now the highest ranking member of the Trump administration acknowledged to be cooperating with the Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2020, siege at the U.S. Capitol. “Mr. Meadows has been... Read More

November 29, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Bannon Accused of Trying to Orchestrate Trial by Media

WASHINGTON — Prosecutors on Sunday accused former Trump advisor Stephen K. Bannon of trying to defend against the criminal charges... Read More

WASHINGTON — Prosecutors on Sunday accused former Trump advisor Stephen K. Bannon of trying to defend against the criminal charges he faces through the media instead of federal court. They said in a court filing that Bannon wants to share witness statements with reporters in an... Read More

Alex Jones, Roger Stone Subpoenaed by House Jan. 6 Committee

WASHINGTON (AP) — A committee investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection has issued subpoenas to five more individuals, including former President... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — A committee investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection has issued subpoenas to five more individuals, including former President Donald Trump’s ally Roger Stone and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, as lawmakers deepened their probe of the rallies that preceded the deadly attack. The subpoenas issued... Read More

November 22, 2021
by Kate Michael
Klobuchar Weighs in on CAP’s New Report on Tech Regulation

WASHINGTON — Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has been on a crusade for swift and sweeping reform of Big Tech platforms,... Read More

WASHINGTON — Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has been on a crusade for swift and sweeping reform of Big Tech platforms, introducing a number of bills and even publishing a book titled “Antitrust” that looks at the history of policy toward trusts and monopolies and details how... Read More

November 19, 2021
by Dan McCue
Kyle Rittenhouse Found Not Guilty of All Charges In Kenosha Shooting

WASHINGTON — A jury on Friday found Kyle Rittenhouse, the Wisconsin teenger who fatally shot two protesters and wounded a... Read More

WASHINGTON — A jury on Friday found Kyle Rittenhouse, the Wisconsin teenger who fatally shot two protesters and wounded a third, not guilty of murder and other felony charges. The shootings occurred last summer during demonstrations in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the wake of the murder of... Read More

November 17, 2021
by Reece Nations
Senate Confirms Jonathan Kanter as Justice Department’s Top Antitrust Official

WASHINGTON — Senators voted 68-29 on Tuesday to confirm competition lawyer Jonathan Kanter as assistant attorney general of the Department... Read More

WASHINGTON — Senators voted 68-29 on Tuesday to confirm competition lawyer Jonathan Kanter as assistant attorney general of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. Kanter has established himself as a critic of big tech and has represented companies like Microsoft and Yelp in lawsuits against Google... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top