Led Zeppelin face plagiarism claims

Led Zeppelin look set to face legal action over claims that their 1971 song "Stairway To Heaven" is copied a 1968 track by Spirit.

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Led Zeppelin look set to face legal action over claims that their 1971 song “Stairway To Heaven” is copied a 1968 track by Spirit.

Lawyer Francis Alexander Molofiy is attempting to block the forthcoming re-release of Led Zeppelin IV, stating that his client – late Spirit guitarist, Randy Alexander – should be given a writing credit on the track, as it resembles Spirit’s 1968 song “Taurus”, reports Rolling Stone. He has said he will be seeking a copyright infringement lawsuit.

“The idea behind this is to make sure that Randy California is given a writing credit on ‘Stairway To Heaven’,” said Malofiy to Bloomberg Businessweek. “Its been a long time coming.”

Mark Andes of Spirit says Led Zeppelin would have heard “Taurus” when the two bands were on tour together in the late 1960s. “…it would typically come after a big forceful number and always got a good response. They would have seen it in that context,” he said. Speaking about the time lapse between the alleged plagiarism and legal action, he added: “The clarity seems to be a present-day clarity, not at the time of infringement. I can’t explain it. It is fairly blatant, and note for note. It would just be nice if the Led Zeppelin guys gave Randy a little nod. That would be lovely.” California’s family stated that they waited so long to take legal action as they could not previously afford it.

Rolling Stone says that a representative for the band has refused to comment on the case. The band will reissue their first three albums next month.


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