US appeals courtroom to revisit Led Zeppelin 'Stairway' choice

A US appeals courtroom selected Monday to evaluate its current choice concerning whether or not Led Zeppelin stole the opening guitar riff for its 1971 anthem “Stairway to Heaven,” however the plaintiff’s lawyer nonetheless expects a retrial to go ahead.

The rock band, lead singer Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Web page had been accused of copyright infringement for stealing the riff from “Taurus,” a track written in 1967 by the guitarist Randy Wolfe of the lesser-known band Spirit.

A jury in Los Angeles dominated in favor of Led Zeppelin in June 2016, however the ninth US Circuit Court docket of Appeals dominated 3-Zero final September that errors by the trial decide required a brand new trial.

Francis Malofiy, a lawyer for the trustee representing Wolfe’s property, mentioned the 11-judge appeals courtroom panel that may rethink the case underneath Monday’s order will concentrate on whether or not to broaden copyright safety for “Taurus.”

He mentioned the three-judge panel erred in deciding {that a} sheet music “deposit copy” of “Taurus,” reasonably than sound recordings by Spirit, outlined the scope of what might be copyrighted underneath the federal 1909 Copyright Act.

“It offers with an iconic track that outlined a era,” mentioned Malofiy, a lawyer at Francis Alexander. He mentioned the trustee, Michael Skidmore, will get a brand new trial “it doesn’t matter what.”

A lawyer for Led Zeppelin had no fast remark.

Led Zeppelin had sought a broader rehearing by the appeals courtroom. Malofiy mentioned the courtroom by no means requested him to reply, as can be required underneath its guidelines earlier than granting the band’s request.

The lawsuit is among the many music business’s most intently watched copyright instances, probably exposing Plant and Web page to hundreds of thousands of {dollars} of damages. Wolfe drowned in 1997.