“Stairway To Heaven” Copyright Case Will Go To Trial Next Month

Two years ago, members of ’60s and ’70s California psych-rock band Spirit sued Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement, claiming that the iconic opening guitar line on “Stairway To Heaven” was lifted from their own instrumental track “Taurus,” which came out in 1968, a few years before “Stairway To Heaven” was written. Of course, Jimmy Page says he didn’t rip them off and claims that he hadn’t even heard Spirit’s 1968 debut until 2014, but I guess that’ll be for a jury to decide now. As The Seattle Times reports, US District Judge R. Gary Klausner ruled on Friday that lawyers for the trustee of late Spirit guitarist Randy Wolfe had shown enough evidence to support their case, which was able to get past the whole “statute of limitations” thing because of Led Zeppelin’s 2014 reissue campaign. Klausner’s ruling removed John Paul Jones from the case, leaving just Robert Plant and Jimmy Page as defendants, and a jury trial is set for 5/10 in Los Angeles. Compare the two songs below.