Led Zeppelin have won the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ plagiarism lawsuit after a jury deemed that the band did not lift Spirit’s song ‘Taurus’.
The band were accused of copying part of the 1968 song. The case was brought to court by Michael Skidmore, a trustee for the late Randy California (real name Randy Wolfe), who played guitar in Spirit.
Skidmore claims that Wolfe should be given a writing credit on ‘Stairway To Heaven’ due to the similarities between the two.
The two bands toured together in 1968 and 1969. Francis Malofiy, the attorney for Skidmore, called Page and Plant “session musicians” during his closing arguments. He also told the jury Wolfe should be given credit for ‘Stairway To Heaven’ because of the alleged infringement.
The trail began on June 14, with Malofiy asking for one-third credit. Malofiy also said Page and Plant had been “selectively mis-remembering things that happened many years ago” and implied there must be a reason why they were doing that.
According to Malofiy and his economist Dr. Michael Einhorn, the assessed damages totaled “somewhere in the middle” of $10 million in alleged gross profits, with the lawsuit coming to a head after Zeppelin reissued ‘Stairway to Heaven’ in 2014. After one day of deliberations, eight jurors have now decided that Led Zeppelin did not lift the song.