Scoop: Led Zep wins ‘Stairway to Heaven’ copyright suit

Janet Wolfe holds a photo of her late brother Randy Wolfe, a member of the band Sprit outside court in Los Angeles. A jury found Thursday that the band Led Zeppelin did not lift a passage from the Spirit song “Taurus” for the intro to their rock classic “Stairway To Heaven.” (AP/Nick Ut)

Led Zeppelin’s off the hook.

After a week-long trial, the legendary group won the copyright lawsuit that charged that the band plagiarized the famed first notes of “Stairway to Heaven.”

On Thursday, an eight-member Los Angeles jury decided that guitarist Jimmy Page and singer Robert Plant did not lift the iconic intro from the California band Spirit’s 1968 instrumental, “Taurus,” written by the late Randy Wolfe (aka Randy California).

Witnesses say the rock legends warmly embraced their defense team as the verdict was read, according to People, and issued a statement thanking fans for their support.

The trial — in which millions were potentially at stake (royalties on Led Zeppelin’s untitled 1971 album on which the song appears are estimated at $600 million) — produced colorful and contentious moments.

Rolling Stone called it “My Cousin Vinny Goes Rock & Roll,” pointing to how the plaintiff’s lawyer Francis Malofiy frequently alluded to Wolfe’s friendship with Jimi Hendrix for no apparent reason, and played the song “Chim Chim Cher-ee” in court, saying it also influenced “Stairway to Heaven.”

Led Zeppelin attorney Peter Anderson simply contended that Spirit’s music is not remembered, a point which Plant echoed, under oath, with a comment that he didn’t recall the song “Taurus” or ever performing with Spirit at all.


Selma Blair seems to have survived her infamous in-flight outburst.

The U.K. Daily Mail reported that on Thursday, her 44th birthday, she left her home in apparently good spirits, walking hand-in-hand with her son Arthur (and joined by his dad, her ex-partner Jason Bleick).

In addition to thanking fans via Instagram for their support during her public crisis, she issued a statement to Vanity Fair in which she explained why she started crying and ranted “He burns my private parts” on a plane on Monday, in an incident that prompted a visit to the hospital.

She It said, “I made a big mistake yesterday. After a lovely trip with my son and his dad, I mixed alcohol with medication and that caused me to black out and led me to say and do things that I deeply regret.”


Miss Missouri Erin O’Flaherty, crowned on Wednesday, has come out as the first openly gay Miss America contestant. … Katherine Heigl, who has two adopted daughters with her husband Josh Kelley, announced that she is pregnant with a baby boy.


Singer Solange Knowles is 30. … Actress Mindy Kaling is 37. … Drummer Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac is 69 … Singer Colin Blunstone of The Zombies is 71. … Guitarist Jeff Beck is 72. … Actor-director Georg Stanford Brown is 73. … Actress Michele Lee is 74.

— Staff, wire reports

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