A Los Angeles jury found that rock band Led Zeppelin did not plagiarize the opening riff to the hit song Stairway to Heaven.
The estate of Randy Wolfe originally brought the copyright infringement suit against the rock legends on the grounds that they believed that Zeppelin stole the original riff from a 1968 song released by Wolfe’s band Spirit.
Stairway to Heaven has been voted the number three all time great Rock Songs by VH1 and has gone down in rock history as the most memorable compositions. If this case went in another direction, a chapter of rock n roll history would have to be rewritten.
Members of Led Zeppelin used their hazy memory to ultimately plea that they didn’t steal the riff. They also provided expert testimony that the two songs shared only a “common building block” that has been used for years.
The jury was not played the original version of Spirit’s song, but after a week of testimony they came to the conclusion that Led Zeppelin did not rip off the riff.