Led Zeppelin Accused of Copyright Infringement Over 'Stairway to Heaven'
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 05.19.2014
The band's iconic hit is allegedly infringing...
Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" is perhaps the most well-known rock song in history. And yet, according to a potential new lawsuit, it's not an original song. Rolling Stone reports that lawyer Francis Alexander Molofiy is attempting to block the upcoming re-release of Led Zeppelin IV on behalf of the late Randy California, claiming that the song resembles the band Spirit's 1968 song "Taurus." Alexander was the guitarist for the band.
Molofiy says that Alexander should receive a writing credit on the famous song and says that he will be filing a copyright infringement lawsuit, noting, "The idea behind this is to make sure that Randy California is given a writing credit on 'Stairway to Heaven.' Its been a long time coming."
According to Spirit's Mark Andes, Zeppelin heard "Taurus" when the bands toured together in the late 1960s. He said the song "...would typically come after a big forceful number and always got a good response. They would have seen it in that context."
As for the delay between "Stairway's" 1971 release and the lawsuit, Andes said, "The clarity seems to be a present-day clarity, not at the time of infringement. I can't explain it. It is fairly blatant, and note for note. It would just be nice if the Led Zeppelin guys gave Randy a little nod. That would be lovely."
California's family said that they waited this long to take legal action as they could not previously afford it. A rep for Zeppelin refused to comment.