Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven" Copyright Case Heads To Appeals Court
Although in June 2016, Led Zeppelin was ruled "not guilty" after they were accused of stealing the opening guitar track to their song "Stairway To Heaven" from the Spirit song "Taurus," the English rockers aren't completely out of the woods yet as the case is now heading towards a federal appeals court.
The Hollywood Reporter says that attorney Francis Malofiy said in a 90-page case briefing that the possibility of Led Zeppelin stealing material from Spirit was "quite clear."
“The most important of these errors was that the trial court refused to let the jury hear the full and complete composition of ‘Taurus’ embodied in the sound recordings that Jimmy Page possessed, instead limiting the comparison to an outline of the ‘Taurus’ composition in the deposit copy lead sheet,” says Malofiy. He goes on to say that the court made the mistake of not informing the jury that “combinations of otherwise unprotectable elements can themselves be afforded protection.” Maloify also notes that the jury wasn't informed about the "inverse ratio rule," stating that, “Access and substantial similarity are inextricably linked, yet the jury was asked to render a verdict without a key instruction that describes this relationship.”