Court makes pivotal decision in "Stairway To Heaven" copyright case

Publish Date
Wednesday, 12 June 2019, 10:12PM
Getty Images

Getty Images

Led Zeppelin's icon anthem "Stairway to Heaven" will get another hearing, this time to a packed house.

A panel of 11 judges from the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals agreed yesterday to hear Led Zeppelin's appeal in a copyright lawsuit alleging the group stole its 1971 rock epic from an obscure 1960s instrumental.

In a 2016 trial that included testimony from Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and singer Robert Plant, a jury found that Stairway to Heaven did not significantly resemble the song Taurus, written by the late Randy Wolfe and performed by his band Spirit. Page said he wrote the music for the song and Plant the lyrics, and that both were original.

But in September, a three-judge panel from the 9th Circuit ruled that the trial judge was wrong to tell jurors that individual elements of a song such as its notes or scale may not qualify for copyright protection.

Led Zeppelin's lawyers moved to the next level of appeal. The 11-judge panel will hear the case in late September in San Francisco.

This article was first published on and is republished here with permission