Judge clears ‘Stairway to Heaven’ copyright case for trial

AP photo

LOS ANGELES (AP) – A judge says a trial is needed to determine if Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” copies its opening notes from a song by the rock band Spirit.

U.S District Judge R. Gary Klausner ruled Friday that lawyers for the estate of late Spirit guitarist Randy Wolfe had shown enough evidence to support a case that “Stairway to Heaven” copies music from the Spirit song “Taurus.”

“Taurus” was written in either 1966 or 1967, years before Led Zeppelin released “Stairway to Heaven” in 1971. Klausner wrote that while the songs have key differences, lawyers for Wolfe’s trustee may be able to prove they are substantially similar.

Led Zeppelin and Spirit performed at some concerts and festivals together, but not on the same stage.

A trial is scheduled for May 10 in Los Angeles.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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