Led Zeppelin `Stairway to Heaven’ Loses First Round in Plagiarism Case Against Spirit Song Taurus


A Pennsylvania court ruled that “Stairway to Heaven,” by Led Zeppelin, is very similar to the Spirit song “Taurus.” Led Zeppelin is being sued for plagiarism over their signature song “Stairway to Heaven.”

U.S.

District Court Judge Juan Sánchez denied the motion to dismiss or transfer without prejudice.

Led Zeppelin can bring it up again.

A judge is trying to decide whether Led Zeppelin’s biggest hit, “Stairway to Heaven,” was lifted from a song that was written by Randy Craig Wolfe, founding member of the band Spirit.

The family of Randy Craig Wolfe sued Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and their music companies in June.

Led Zeppelin and Spirit shared the bill at four concerts between 1968 and 1969.

Lawyers for Spirit are suing Led Zeppelin for plagiarism, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Businessweek claims Spirit played “Taurus” during the shows.

According to reports, Led Zeppelin played a medley that included the Spirit song “Fresh-Garbage” on their first U.S.

tour.

Spirit had a hit with “I Got a Line on You.” A memorandum to dismiss the case said “The individual defendants are British citizens residing in England, own no property in Pennsylvania and have no contacts with Pennsylvania, let alone ties sufficient to render them essentially at home here.” The plaintiffs responded by amending the claim to emphasize why a Pennsylvania judge should oversee the case: “Defendants are subject to specific jurisdiction in this district because they make millions of dollars from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by directly targeting this district for the exploitation of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ through CD sales, digital downloading, radio and television play, advertising, marketing, concert performances, other performances, licensing, and otherwise targeting resident individuals and businesses to profit off the exploitation of ‘Stairway to Heaven.'” This isn’t the first time Led Zeppelin has been hit with plagiarism charges.

The band had to change the songwriting credits on “Whole Lotta Love,” “The Lemon Song” and “Dazed and Confused” after similar legal action was taken.

   

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