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Led Zeppelin won their copyright lawsuit for "Stairway to Heaven"

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    Many decades have gone by since "Stairway to Heaven" was a brand new hit on the radio (1971). During those days, one would hardly hear much talk at all when it came to copyrights, and bands stealing tunes from other bands. Today, everyone is so sue-happy that it's ridiculous.

    Led Zeppelin band members have been in a furious fight with a legal team who represents the estate of late guitarist Randy Wolfe, who was a member of the band Spirit.

    The argument goes that Zeppelin played a show with Spirit before they became big. At that time, they would have been familiar with Spirit's song "Taurus". The song features a guitar melody which holds a scary similarity to "Stairway to Heaven".

    I know that artists collaborate. Many great tunes have been written backstage by artists from different bands coming together to jam. This isn't the only accusation of copyright infringement the band has faced. Many other artists have been coming out of the wood work, claiming that Zeppelin has ripped off their songs as well. Below are the songs in question. Did they steal it? You decide.

    "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin

    "Taurus" by Spirit - the melody in question begins at the :44 mark

    Another video chalked full of songs that Zeppelin has allegedly lifted from other artists.

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    I really wasn't too impressed with Spirit's lawsuit. It's clearly similar, but I have also heard that bluesy folk chord progression is very common. But when you watch the last video, and you see so many of their all time hits are clearly borrowed at least in large part from the kings of blues that came before them... I really don't like it. Credit where credit is due. It's one thing to sample and improve and make something your own. But this clearly shows Led Zeppelin's strong inclination to rip off bands and artists that came before them, and then re-package it to the masses as if it's wholly original. Once or twice, I am honestly okay with that. But over a dozen times, c'mon guys. You simply can't do that. And then make millions every year.

    I heard Zeppelin grossed $75 million last year, and they didn't even do anything. All just from royalties and whatnot. That's far too much money for them to never give out proper credit. Sure, they made what they took from others their own. But the way they have went about all of this, it does make it stealing in my eyes. I don't want to believe that. But the proof is too damning. If they would have been honest and gotten the original artists on board from jump, my god would this be a different story. They could have ushered in a whole new way of making music, where everyone benefits. But they actively choose not to. That is dishonest, and sadly the definition of shameful.

    Every single sampling they did, they should share the royalties, and give credit fully. They are still amazing artists. But not original artists. They are apparently sampling experts. They found a remix formula that was so damn successful, they do not deserve all the accolades. I do hope they lose a lawsuit at some point, and it retroactively forces them to eventually credit all of this 'borrowing'. And to payout accordingly.

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    Agreed. And you're right. It is an age old argument (literally) that the band ripped off of many blues artists, which is what highly contributes to their "unique" sound. Don't get me wrong, I still love Zep, but I think they're legend has gotten to their head and created a convenient selective memory.

    I heard on the radio today that the prosecution wasn't able to play "Taurus" for the jury due to copyright issues on their part. Apparently, they didn't get the nod from the record company to do it. So, instead, they had a guitarist come in and play the song from sheet music, which was originally written for the piano. I'm sure it sounded completely different. You would think the legal team would have had their ducks in a row before suing one of the most famous and high grossing bands.