Led Zeppelin Granted New Hearing In “Stairway To Heaven” Copyright Case

According to Associated Press, a federal appeals court have agreed to give Led Zeppelin a new hearing in the “Stairway To Heaven” copyright case. This news comes after the Ninth Circuit appeals court previously ruled to overturn the jury’s favorable verdict. For those unaware, the case was originally brought forward due to the similarities between “Stairway To Heaven” and Spirit’s “Taurus.”

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Listen To Mastodon’s Cover Of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven”

Mastodon recently paid tribute to their late manager Nick John by releasing a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” on vinyl as part of this year’s Record Store Day. That track has since leaked online and can be heard below:

The band previously commented:

“In early September 2018, we lost one of our closest friends and our biggest fan, our manager Nick John. He was essentially the band’s Dad. From our highest highs to our lowest lows he was always there. Every single move we made went through him first as our trust in him was marrow deep. His favorite band besides us and Gojira, was Led Zeppelin.

We were asked to perform ‘Stairway to Heaven‘ at his funeral. Afterward, finding out that someone had recorded it, we figured we should record a studio version and release it on Record Store Day as a tribute to Nick with all the proceeds to be donated to pancreatic cancer research. We would not be the band we are today without the help of Nick John. We miss him dearly and think of him always. We love you buddy.

The limited edition 10-inch vinyl features the Studio Version on Side A and a Live Version on Side B. It will be available in participating independent retailers on Saturday, April 13, 2019.

All of the proceeds benefit the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.”

Mastodon To Release Cover Of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” As A Tribute To Their Late Manager

Mastodon have announced that they will be releasing a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” as a tribute to their late manager Nick John, who sadly passed away following a battle with pancreatic cancer. The track will be available as part of this year’s Record Store Day (April 13) and proceeds will go towards the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

The band commented:

“In early September 2018, we lost one of our closest friends and our biggest fan, our manager Nick John. He was essentially the band’s Dad. From our highest highs to our lowest lows he was always there. Every single move we made went through him first as our trust in him was marrow deep. His favorite band besides us and Gojira, was Led Zeppelin.

We were asked to perform ‘Stairway to Heaven‘ at his funeral. Afterward, finding out that someone had recorded it, we figured we should record a studio version and release it on Record Store Day as a tribute to Nick with all the proceeds to be donated to pancreatic cancer research. We would not be the band we are today without the help of Nick John. We miss him dearly and think of him always. We love you buddy.

The limited edition 10-inch vinyl features the Studio Version on Side A and a Live Version on Side B. It will be available in participating independent retailers on Saturday, April 13, 2019.

All of the proceeds benefit the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.”

Led Zeppelin’s Attorneys Ask Ninth Circuit Appeals Court To Reconsider “Stairway To Heaven” Ruling

According to Law360, Led Zeppelin’s attorneys are trying to get the Ninth Circuit appeals court to reconsider their recent ruling to overturn the jury’s decision in the copyright infringement case involving “Stairway To Heaven.” That case was originally brought forward due to the similarities between the track and Spirit’s “Taurus.”

Led Zeppelin’s representatives are saying it could “cause jurors to find infringement just because the same unprotected elements are present, upsetting the ‘delicate balance'” between copyright protection and the freedom of music creators to employ common techniques and musical elements when composing music.”

The filing also adds that “if uncorrected,” the court’s conclusion will “allow a jury to find infringement based on very different uses of public domain material” leading to “widespread confusion in copyright cases in this circuit.”

Michael Skidmore, the trustee of “Taurus” songwriter Randy “California” Wolfe’s estate, brought forward the copyright claims more than four decades after “Stairway To Heaven” was released. When the case was originally taken to court, a Los Angeles jury ended up voting in favor of Led Zeppelin, after listening to both songs.

[via Blabbermouth]

Federal Appeals Court Orders New Trial In Copyright Case Over Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven”

According to Variety, a federal appeals court has decided to overturn the jury’s decision in the copyright infringement case involving Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven.” The case was originally brought forward due to the similarities between the track and Spirit’s “Taurus.”

Michael Skidmore, the trustee of “Taurus” songwriter Randy “California” Wolfe’s estate, brought forward the claims more than four decades after “Stairway To Heaven” was released. When the case was taken to court, a Los Angeles jury ended up voting in favor of Led Zeppelin, after listening to both songs.

Skidmore then filed for appeal, which led to a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordering a new trial. Their decision was made based on the judge in the previous trial, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Klausner , giving “instructions that failed to make clear that an arrangement of otherwise unprotectable elements in a song can be sufficiently original to merit copyright protection.”

Circuit Judge Richard A. Paez also said Klausner was wrong for not letting Skidmore’s attorney play “Taurus” while Jimmy Page was testifying.

Paez commented:

“Without a selection and arrangement instruction, the jury instructions severely undermined Skidmore’s argument for extrinsic similarity, which is exactly what the jury found lacking.”

“Given the probative value of the information and the relatively low risk of unfair prejudice, we conclude that the district court abused its discretion in excluding the evidence.”

Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale Joins Smashing Pumpkins Onstage For Live Cover Of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven”

During Smashing Pumpkins’ July 20 show at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN, the band were joined onstage by Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale for a live cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven.” You can check out some footage of that below:

Led Zeppelin Accused Of Plagiarism?

According to Rolling Stone, the band Spirit is suing Led Zeppelin due to similarities between “Stairway To Heaven” and Spirit’s song “Taurus.” Attorney Francis Alexander Molofiy, a lawyer representing deceased Spirit guitarist Randy California, claims the “Stairway To Heaven” intro was a rip off of “Taurus,” which was released three years earlier. He is also trying to prevent the reissue of Led Zeppelin IV, to “make sure that Randy California is given a writing credit on “Stairway to Heaven,” because “it’s been a long time coming.” Spirit and California’s family claim the reason they waited so long to press charges is due to insufficient funds to hire lawyers.

Before California’s death, he did an interview with Listener Magazine and said the following:

“The guys made millions of bucks on it and never said ‘Thank you,’ never said, ‘Can we pay you some money for it?’ It’s kind of a sore point with me. Maybe someday their conscience will make them do something about it.”

As for the lawsuit, we will have to wait to see how it plays out.

(Image from Rolling Stone)

(Image from Rolling Stone)