Did Robert Plant and Jimmy Page steal one of rock’s most recognisable riffs? That’s the question a jury will try to answer in a Los Angeles court today.
Members of the rock band Led Zeppelin have appeared in court after being accused of borrowing from another song for their 1971 hit Stairway To Heaven.
Pitt, the lead singer, and guitarist Jimmy Page did not speak to each other or their lawyers as they appeared in court ahead of today’s trial.
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The lawsuit claims that the song’s opening chords were taken from a track by the band Spirit called Taurus, which came out in 1967.
Earlier this year a judge ruled that there was potential for a jury to find a “substantial” similarity between the two recordings and approved the case.
The copyright infringement action is being taken on behalf of late guitarist Randy Wolfe, also known as Randy California, who played on the same bill as Led Zeppelin in the 1960s.
Lawyers for Wolfe say the duo wrote Stairway To Heaven after hearing their client play Taurus, and that he should be given a writing credit.
However, Page and Plant argue they wrote the song in a remote cottage in Wales and were not influenced by Wolfe’s chord progression.
Lawyers for the pair also argued that the chord progression is so simple it did not deserve copyright protection.