A federal court jury decided Thursday (June 23) in LED ZEPPELIN‘s favor in the copyright-infringement lawsuit over the band’s 1971 classic “Stairway To Heaven”.
The jury came to their decision on a second day of deliberations at a Los Angeles courtroom after Judge Gary Klausner had heard heated closing arguments from lawyers representing both parties.
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were sued by Michael Skidmore, the trustee of the Randy Craig Wolfe Trust, on behalf of the late SPIRIT guitarist. The lawsuit argued that the opening notes of “Stairway To Heaven” were too similar to a few notes from a 2-minute, 37-second instrumental titled “Taurus” from SPIRIT‘s 1968 album. The trust was hoping to not only win a monetary judgment, but also secure a writing credit for California on “Stairway To Heaven”.
Plant and Page issued a joint statement, saying “We are grateful for the jury’s conscientious service and pleased that it has ruled in our favor, putting to rest questions about the origins of ‘Stairway To Heaven’ and confirming what we have known for 45 years. We appreciate our fans’ support, and look forward to putting this legal matter behind us.”
Page went on to say that he composed the music for “Stairway To Heaven” with “the intention to create a long work, with multiple different parts, that would unfold with increasing complexity and speed culminating in a guitar solo that was preceded by a distinct fanfare, followed by the last verse concluding a climax to the song.”
“Stairway To Heaven” is said to be one of the most covered rock songs and its worth is estimated to be more than $560 million.