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Jury: Led Zeppelin didn't steal 'Stairway to Heaven' riff

From left, Jason Bonham, son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page are shown in 2012 at the "Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day" premiere in New York. Generations of aspiring guitarists have tried to copy the riff from Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." Page and Plant were named as defendants in the lawsuit brought by the trustee of late guitarist Randy Wolfe from the band Spirit.  [Associated Press file photo]

From left, Jason Bonham, son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page are shown in 2012 at the "Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day" premiere in New York. Generations of aspiring guitarists have tried to copy the riff from Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." Page and Plant were named as defendants in the lawsuit brought by the trustee of late guitarist Randy Wolfe from the band Spirit. [Associated Press file photo]

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles jury has decided the band Led Zeppelin did not steal the opening to its classic anthem "Stairway to Heaven."

The federal jury reached its verdict Thursday, settling a point that music fans have debated for decades but didn't find its way to court until two years ago.

The trust for the late songwriter Randy Wolfe claimed Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and singer Robert Plant stole a riff from Wolfe's 1968 instrumental "Taurus" recorded with the band Spirit.

Page, Plant and bassist John Paul Jones all testified in the case, providing anecdotes about the 1971 creation of "Stairway to Heaven."

Experts who testified for the trust said the two songs bear striking similarities, while defense experts said they shared a common musical building block.

The lawsuit said Led Zeppelin had a history of ripping off works by other songwriters and had settled at least six other copyright cases.

Jury: Led Zeppelin didn't steal 'Stairway to Heaven' riff 06/23/16 [Last modified: Thursday, June 23, 2016 2:54pm]
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