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Led Zeppelin Isn't Actually Losing the Stairway to Heaven Lawsuit

Led Zeppelin (John Paul Jones, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page) performing live in 1980
Led Zeppelin (John Paul Jones, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page) performing live in 1980Photograph by Rob Verhorst/Redferns

If you’re a Led Zeppelin fan feeling concerned in recent days that band seems to be losing a lawsuit over the authorship of Stairway to Heaven, don’t be alarmed. Contrary to a flurry of headlines, Jimmy Page and company actually haven’t suffered defeat in the first round of the copyright-infringement case. Led Zeppelin might even be winning.

As Bloomberg Businessweek reported in a feature story from May, Led Zeppelin faces a suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania that alleges parts of the 1971 hit were filched from an obscure song by the band Spirit. The suit was filed by a Philadelphia-area lawyer representing the trust of the late Spirit guitarist, Randy California.