Led Zeppelin will have to face a retrial of the 2016 court case which saw the band win a dispute over the origin of “Stairway To Heaven.”
On September 28, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals partially vacated a 2016 judgement in Led Zeppelin’s favour. The case has now been remanded for a new trial.
The 2016 trial was the result of a legal action brought against Led Zeppelin by Michael Skidmore, the trustee of the estate of Spirit guitarist Randy California. Skidmore claimed that Led Zeppelin stole the introduction to “Stairway To Heaven” from Spirit’s song “Taurus.”
However, the jury in the 2016 trial returned a verdict that said that Led Zeppelin had not copied “Taurus.” The jury found that Led Zeppelin had access to the song, but they said that there was no substantial similarity between the two songs.
On March 12, the lawyer suing the band appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in an attempt to reverse the verdict and get a retrial.
Skidmore’s lawyer Francis Malofiy argued that the jury in the trial was unfairly barred from hearing the recorded version of “Taurus,” and instead had to rely on the musical composition of the song. He also had a series of other complaints about the 2016 trial.
You can view the full decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals below:
Ninth Circuit Court of Appe… by on Scribd
You can watch the full video of the March appeal, and Led Zeppelin’s cross-appeal, in the YouTube video below: