The Led Zepplin/Spirit Case went to Jury trial and they found in favor of Zepplin. in my opinion they stole the melody from Spirits "Taurus" what do u think?

The decision of the Brits to leave the EU made it so very few people saw this story. Led Zepplin's 'Stairway to Heaven' was upheld as not plagarism in a jury trial. The problem is that it WAS 100% stolen from 'Taurus' by the band Sprit. Jimmy Page even tried to lie and say he had never heard 'Taurus' even tho he owned Spirits album with it on, and the bands toured together in the 60s. The reason Zepplin won was the Jury didn't hear the recordings, rather instead a guitarist played each song from ancient music sheets that were submitted who knows when and sound barely anything like the songs. It was the 60s i doubt they were too into paperwork. So tell me do you think they got by on a technicality and they did steal from Spirit? Or are they really guilt free?
To hear them: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music/hear-stairway-heaven-v-s-taurus-article-1.2685650

This is a good link of the lawyer fighting Led Zepplin : http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/led-zep-plaintiff-lawyer-case-was-tried-in-an-alternate-reality-20160623


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Most Helpful Guy

  • I listened to both and it sound vaguely similar but not like a complete rip.

    If I remember correctly this "everything is a remix" video points out a number of examples where zepplin songs are "remixed" (or ripped off) from other songs. So I wouldn't put it past them if they did steal it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJPERZDfyWc

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What Girls Said 7

  • It's a pretty standard chord progression and by using it in no way proves plagiarism.

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  • I think so too... It can't be that much of a coincidence...

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    • Yeah exactly. Especially knowing each other, touring together, and owning the original album

  • Old news... What do u get out of listening to ancient songs

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    • A lot of people like classics, the relevance is in how the ruling will effect artists sampling and stealing from each other

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    • Wow, the music from the 60's and 70's blows everything since out of the water. Even when I was a kid I liked music from this period and it's appeal has only grown stronger.

      I guess the art from the Renaissance must be bad because it's old.

      You must really be 13.

    • @zagor not a fan of drug induced music. It sounds like a funeral song anyway.

  • I agree they stold it!

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  • Very similar sounding but not the same.

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  • I definitely hear similarities in the songs. Basically a few parts of Spirit's song Taurus do match up well with that on Stairway to Heaven.

    Is it possible that it was stolen? Definitely. Especially if Jimmy Page had the album, he may have subconsciously picked out those small parts and put them together into a melody for Stairway to Heaven.

    As for why they waited so long to sue, I have no idea. Perhaps Spirit was hoping fans of Stairway to Heaven would hear the similarities and they would get some recognition. But I have no idea.

    I do think Stairway is similar to parts of Taurus. But it's hard to say that it was ripped. The melody in Taurus changes, it's not exactly the same.

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    • They also toured together and heard the song live plenty of times. From what I am told from older people fans of both bands basically knew it was stolen just nobody cared

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    • Exactly! I'm even more suspicious when it's the estate suing and not the person.

    • Yeah i know later in his life when the song got so huge he started to be like yeah i should get credit, so I guess they are continuing that, its obviously money based for the estate but its be nice if he got credit

  • They were probably "inspired" by it, but who knows. It even happens by accident sometimes.

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    • Yeah true, but they owned the album, toured with the band and heard the song constantly

What Guys Said 17

  • The whole case was BS. If Taurus felt the song was stolen, they'd have sued LZ back in the 60s, but they didn't. Taurus never had an issue with Stairway to Heaven, because both songs incorporate chromatic scales which have been used in music for hundreds of years - it was nothing new.

    In fact, it was the estate of the deceased lead singer who sued - almost 50 years later - to try to get money. That's crap.

    The history of music is being inspired by other music, and incorporating existing ideas into new works - but in this case, BOTH songs do that by incorporating a chromatic scale. That's the only thing in common, and there's no way that's enough to award an un-involved copyright holder 50 years later.

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    • Well the issue with if they cared they would of sued is interesting since Randy California true didn't really care. He knew they took the main part of stairway but he didn't really care. After it became basically the best song ever and he got older he shifted a bit. I'm not sure how one can listen and not realize its obviously taken, especially considering Page owned the album. Everyone back then knew it was taken just didn't really care

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    • That makes 0 sense whatsoever. You can't say "musical notes exist so every song is a ripoff of another song but that other song is hundreds of years old and nobody knows what it is" LZ heard taurus countless times and then wrote stairway, so the coerlation is pretty prevalent

    • It seems pretty clear that you don't have much understanding of music theory or musical development. The same descending chromatic scale has been used in dozens, maybe hundreds of songs before LZ or even Taurus used them, and that's the very part of the music in contention here.

      Anyway, we have a statute of limitations for a reason, and the family only got by this on a technicality - that LZ remastered and re-released that album. It was a straight money-grab.

  • I read about this case and followed the day by day news accounts of the trial. And of course I know "Stairway" by heart and can play that intro (which was the only part of the song at issue in the case) on my acoustic guitar. I think the jury got this one right. From the account I read, the jury did hear the recording of "Stairway," but there was a statute of limitations issue when it came to what was actually copyrighted. The musicologists who testified for both sides basically said the descending minor chord progression of the intro to "Stairway" and of "Taurus" had been around for hundreds of years. And that's not surprising considering what both pieces sounded like, and certainly when you consider what Jimmy Page was aiming at with that intro. Yes, there were similarities to the two pieces, but they weren't note-for-note the same. I think a jury might have been more sympathetic to a copyright infringement claim had the case been brought over 40 years ago, when "Stairway" first became a huge success. I don't know why Randy Wolfe didn't bring a lawsuit back then. But for his estate to bring it after all that time had passed probably seemed to the jury to be suspicious. I've read interviews with many different songwriters. Everybody is influenced by everybody else, both past and present. The same chord progressions are used over and over and over in popular music. But the upshot is that there was no note-for-note infringement and the similarity wasn't enough for the jury to find for the plaintiff.

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  • @TadCurious got it right. There are a finite number of possibilities for chord progressions, and that one had been around for hundreds of years. And the notes were not exactly alike. If one were to believe that LZ "stole it from Taurus, then one would have to say that Taurus originally stole it from other from a lot further back.

    The jury was right.

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  • Page certainly stole a three or four bar arpeggio; however, 99% of the song was original. I thought the suit had very little merit.

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    • It wasn't "you stole the song" it was "give randy a writing credit" basically. And the estate obviously wanted whatever % he'd of been owed

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    • Yeah when he was alive he knew they took it and even said so but he was pretty chill and didn't really make a stink. But when you basically help write what some people call the greatest song of all time it starts to wear on you cause as he got older he mentioned he would like credit

    • Well, I admit it's a tough call as to the worth of the few chords in question. But it is after all one of the many, many hooks offered up, and is certainly worthy of mention. I just don't see it as worthy of much monetary recompense. RIP Mr. California.

  • No it's not stolen. There is evidence in all sorts of music of a descending patterns, and similar chord changes. If the case is about copying then everybody in the world should be sued for writing essays and stories and movies and TV shows and just speaking everyday. Howw many people use cliche phrases like, ' I got to second base', or whatever.

    The chords in the Zeppelin song are different, and more complex. Plus then the song takes on a completely different 'persona' throughout the song.

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    • This would be true if it wasn't completely obvious that they stole the intro and used it throughout. Nobody ever said they stole the entire song, Taurus doesn't even have lyrics, Randy California just deserves a writing credit. Especially since your complete nonsense overgeneralization ignores the fact Page and Plant owned the song and heard it live countless times before writing Stairway

    • it's not the same. I play guitar, I know the chords, and have seen the chords to the Taurus song, plus they do not actually sound the same. I can even prove it to you with a video when I get to my PC.

  • I agree. I'm actually surprised and I like both Zeppelin and Stairway. Honestly, I think they made about as much of an adjustment to the opening riff as Vanilla Ice did to Ice Ice Baby (blatantly ripped off from Under Pressure).

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  • While the first few notes seem the same, I think there was sufficient difference. If I was on that jury, I'd have to find for Led Zeppelin. However, if the next three or four notes were the same, I'd have found for Spirit.

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  • The thing is even if they got it from there, it's a chord progression that's been used literally hundreds of times in songs. It's very possible that Taurus wasn't even the first either, and there are kids more that have used it-the songs just haven't become as iconic as stairway to heaven

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  • They totally stole it and didn't change it enough to consider a new song. Case went this way simply because of time and zeppelin longstanding history. Sucks for spirit.

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  • A lot of their songs were old blues songs but they took them and made them sound like they never did before.

    And a lot of music, and other art, is about influences and borrowing.

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  • I'm sorry, but this was as bad as George Harrison being sued for "My Sweet Lord" allegedly plagiarizing the Chiffon's "He's So Fine" (no kidding).

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  • A lot of great artists rip off others, that's nothing new. Question is why would it even be brought up now over 40 years later?

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    • That doesn't make it right, and Zepplin is notorious for it

    • Well, they waiting this long to sue so what does that tell you? If they were so adamant about not being plagurized, they would have sued when they came out with the song rather than try and wait until the song became a hit and amassed a lot of wealth from it over the years.

    • Well the guy is dead for one lol. Randy California didn't care when they first took it he even said stuff like "yeah they took my rift man" cause it was the 60s and they were all high af and friendly lol. I think as the song got larger he started realizing itd be nice to get some credit. His estate suing now is weird timing, but he can't since he's dead

  • Remember that time Jimmy Page kidnapped a 14 year old and kept her locked up in his house? Yeah, nobody else does either. They'll forget about this too.

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  • I think I don't care

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  • Innocent until proven guilty.

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  • It was a clear rip off.

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  • "It was the 60's I doubt they were too into paperwork."

    Holy shit that's ignorant.
    I'm gonna be laughing about that for days.

    Music has been written down for a long long time.
    Page was a studio musician before zep. Studio musicians have to read sheet music.

    Someone who is ignorant should not make statements like "it was 100% stolen". You have no idea.

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    • I was talking about Spirit not Zep. Randy California was very different from them, and it's pretty obvious they took from him. Not to mention they are notorious for that. I still love Zep but it's messed up they never gave him his credit

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