The Spirit vs Led Zeppelin case is going back to court.
In 2015, Michael Skidmore, the trustee for the estate of Spirit guitarist Randy Wolfe, started legal proceedings against Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin claiming they ripped off the Spirit track ‘Taurus’ to create the Led Zep classic ‘Stairway To Heaven’.
The judge ruled Led Zeppelin was not guilty of the charge because the Spirit song was based on a 350 year old classical piece by Giovanni Battista Granata “Sonata di Chittarra, e Violino, con il suo Basso Continuo,” composed in 1659.
While that may be a little hard to fathom, listen to Spirit vs Led Zep and see what you think …
The update is that when Judge Gary Glausner of the US District Court ruled in the Led Zep vs Spirit case he neglected to consider the amount of overlaps between the original Spirit components of ‘Taurus’ compared to Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’.
The Spirit case proved Jimmy Page knew their original song because both bands had performed on the same bill previously where Spirit included the song in their setlist.
Glausner was also called to fault for not allowing the Spirit song to be played during the trial.
It is now concluded that Galusner abused his position. “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,” wrote Circuit Judge Richard A. Paez, for the court.
The case will now go back to court.