Led Zeppelin Are Finally Victorious In Legal Battle

On October 5, 2020, rock band Led Zeppelin finally won their long-drawn legal battle over their hit track ‘Stairway To Heaven.’ After years of legal disputes, a US Supreme court gave a ruling that rejected infringement allegations over the 1971 song. This recent decision is a ruling from the court that waves of a petition that wishes to revive the dispute.

Brief History Of The Lawsuit:

The saga began in 2014 when journalist Michael Skidmore filed an action against the song’s writers, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. The lawsuit was based on the fact that Led Zeppelin’s song intro was stolen from the 1968 song ‘Taurus‘ by the group Spirit.

The legal action was filed on behalf of the estate of Randy Wolfe. He was the lead singer of the group Spirit. The claim mentioned that the famous track plagiarized the riff from the track titled ‘Taurus.’

Further History:

After losing the case in 2014, Michael Skidmore went on to take the Led Zeppelin case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. He and his estate went on to lose the case. Ever since then the case has continued to roll on.

Is The Ruling Correct?

As always, there are two sides to the tale. Many suggest that this has only given more leeway for all the large record labels. This comes as another ruling in favour of the “bigger name” in the industry. Michael Skidmore’s attorneys have argued: “The effect of this ruling is a gift to the industry, a disaster for independent artists, and spells the end of any real copyright protection for musical works.”

Additionally, Skidmore’s lawyers have made a strong case as to why the Led Zeppelin ruling is wrong. They believe that the jurors did not have access to the album recording of ‘Taurus.’ The court had to rely solely on the sheet music deposited with the U.S. Copyright Office.

Finally, it looks like this has come to an end. However, the music industry continues to surprise us and whether there’s more to come remains a question we can’t wait to have answered.

By: Aatira Kakroo