Led Zeppelin‘s copyright dispute over ‘Stairway To Heaven’ may go back to court yet again.
Michael Skidmore, a trustee for the estate of Spirit guitarist Randy California, first filed a lawsuit against the British band in 2014.
He claimed that their 1971 hit ‘Stairway To Heaven’ had violated the copyright of Spirit’s 1968 track ‘Taurus’.
However, a judge ruled in favour of Led Zeppelin in July 2016. A new trial was later ordered by the US appeals court in September 2018.
Now, the US Supreme Court has been asked to review the earlier decisions in a newly-filed petition via Law360 by Skidmore yet again.
The Wolfe estate argues: “The [Ninth Circuit] opinion is a disaster for the creatives whose talent is often preyed upon. By the same token, it is a gift to the music industry and its attorneys – enthusiastically received – by a circuit whose own judge once observed: ‘Our circuit is the most hostile to copyright owners of all the circuits.’
“The ‘court of appeals for the Hollywood Circuit’ has finally given Hollywood exactly what it has always wanted: a copyright test which it cannot lose. Portending what is to come, in the days following the decision’s filing multiple major copyright rulings have already dramatically favoured industry defendants. The proverbial canary in the coal mine has died; it remains to be seen if the miners have noticed.”
Skidmore’s complaint claimed ‘Stairway To Heaven’ and ‘Taurus’ had similar chord progressions and he suggested the band may have written the iconic song after touring with Spirit.