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U.S. Supreme Court Asked to Review the LED ZEPPELIN "Stairway to Heaven" Plagiarism Case

Looks like this isn't over after all.

Looks like the battle over Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" isn't over after all. For those unfamiliar, Led Zeppelin was sued over their 1971 hit for sounding too similar to Spirit's 1968 track "Taurus". The case originally ended in 2016, though representatives of Spirit wanted a wider panel of judges to hear the songs and make a ruling. That happened earlier this year and the ruling remained in favor of Led Zeppelin.

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Now according to Law360 (by way of Blabbermouth), the estate of "Taurus" songwriter Randy "California" Wolfe has filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to overturn the ruling. Or in other words, they're asking the United States Supreme Court to step in and take another look at the case.

"The [Ninth Circuit] opinion is a disaster for the creatives whose talent is often preyed upon," said Wolfe's estate. "By the same token, it is a gift to the music industry and its attorneys — enthusiastically received — by a circuit whose own judge once observed: 'Our circuit is the most hostile to copyright owners of all the circuits.'

"The 'court of appeals for the Hollywood Circuit' has finally given Hollywood exactly what it has always wanted: a copyright test which it cannot lose. Portending what is to come, in the days following the decision's filing multiple major copyright rulings have already dramatically favoured industry defendants. The proverbial canary in the coal mine has died; it remains to be seen if the miners have noticed."

In the March 2020 ruling, the court said they "have never extended copyright protection to just a few notes" and "we have held that ‘a four-note sequence common in the music field’ is not the copyrightable expression in a song." Which basically boils down to you can't sue someone because they used a few notes that are the same as your song.

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Read the full March 2020 ruling here.

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