Led Zeppelin have won a copyright lawsuit that claimed they had plagiarized the music to their most celebrated song, "Stairway to Heaven." A Los Angeles jury determined Thursday that the lawyer representing the estate of late guitarist Randy Wolfe, who played with the group Spirit, did not prove that the hard rockers lifted the song's intro from Spirit's 1968 instrumental "Taurus."
The lawsuit began in 2014 alleging that Led Zeppelin would have been aware of the song "Taurus" and would have subsequently copied it. The track appeared on Spirit's 1968 self-titled debut and features an acoustic guitar line in descending chromatic pattern.
The jury’s verdict, which found substantial differences between “Stairway to Heaven” and Spirit’s instrumental track “Taurus,” followed a weeklong federal court trial in Los Angeles that had called into question the originality of the 1971 song by Led Zeppelin.
The jury found Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page had access to “Taurus,” a song written in 1967, but that the riff they were accused of stealing was not intrinsically similar to the opening chords of “Stairway.”