Monday, October 5th, 2020 | News | Update
One of the greatest bands in history selling millions of records and influencing music for generations has just defended in court the writing credits to one of the biggest rock songs of all time, “Stairway to Heaven”.
Released on their fourth album, the 1971 release of “Stairway To Heaven” is almost instantaneously recognizable by its opening guitar riff. Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin had been accused of stealing the opening of the song from a song written by Randy Wolfe of the band Spirit called, “Taurus”.
Led Zeppelin had been the opening act for Spirit on a 1968 tour in the U.S. Page testified under oath in 2016 that he had not heard the song until recent times. The jury concluded that the similarities were not strong enough to classify as copyright infringement and that Robert & Jimmy are still the copyright holders of “Stairway to Heaven”. Today October 5th 2020, the US Supreme Court has declined to accept the case by supporting the March 2020 decision by U.S. appeal court stand. Led Zeppelin has won the court case victoriously.
There are a finite number of notes, and a finite number of unique patterns that can be represented within this limitation. Originality is what the artist does within those notes and how they use space, time and rhythm to manipulate those notes into original music. It is tough writing songs, and sometimes they sound similar based off the limited amount of notes available. Coming up with something that is similar is hard to deal with when it happens by accident.
Never steal a riff or song and always do your best to make sure that your original song does NOT contain anything from another writer. Only you and your thoughts.