Led Zeppelin Sued for Alleged Theft of Rock’s Greatest Song, Stairway to Heaven


Last week, it was announced that a lawsuit filed against influential rock band Led Zeppelin in May of this year would proceed. The lawsuit was filed by family members of the late Randy Craig Wolfe against Led Zeppelin band members John Paul Jones, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and the band’s music companies.


According to the lawsuit, Wolfe, known as ‘Randy California’ of the rock group Spirit, should get credit for writing Stairway to Heaven, the song that Page claimed he had written while secluded in a remote cabin in Wales. Wolfe’s surviving family members claim that the tune was “stolen” from Spirit, particularly the guitar chords, which were in an instrumental song Wolfe wrote entitled “Taurus.” A news article at NBC Philadelphia claims that Zeppelin and Spirit toured together in 1968, which gave Page the opportunity to become familiar with the group’s music.


The plaintiff wrote in an amended complaint that Led Zeppelin needs to do the right thing and give credit for writing Stairway to Heaven to Randy California, and that “What happened to Randy California and Spirit is wrong.” The lawsuit is filed in Pennsylvania, and the defendants claim that the lawsuit must be dismissed or transferred because as British citizens, they hold no stake in PA. The plaintiff amended the complaint, claiming that Led Zeppelin and its music companies are under Eastern PA jurisdiction, and that through digital downloads, concert performances, CD sales and television exposure, the defendants “exploited” the song in that area. The judge in the case denied the plaintiffs’ request for a transfer or dismissal in early October.


If the plaintiff is successful in the copyright infringement lawsuit, the Randy Craig Wolfe Trust will possibly receive millions of dollars, according to the article.


In a 1997 Listener Magazine interview with California prior to his drowning death, Randy California said that some of the music in Led Zeppelin’s greatest hit was taken from the song Taurus. California went on to say that “Well, if you listen to the two songs, you can make your own judgment.”


As experienced Los Angeles copyright infringement attorneys, we understand that situations such as the one above are far more common than many people realize. If your writing, music, or creative works have been stolen by someone else, consult with a skilled and capable business lawyer. Spotora & Associates staffs a team of seasoned attorneys who each excel in their own areas of expertise.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 at 1:18 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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