An Appeal Has Been Filed in the Led Zeppelin Plagiarism Case
According to Courthouse News, an appeal has been filed in the plagiarism case against Led Zeppelin. Michael Skidmore, trustee of Randy “California” Wolfe’s estate, filed a notice of appeal in the Ninth Circuit this Saturday.
A quick refresher: Skidmore accused Zeppelin of biting their classic hit “Stairway to Heaven” off of the song “Taurus” by Spirit. The case went to court, and after deliberating for five hours, the jury came out in favor of Zeppelin, claiming that they didn’t believe there was substantial evidence to prove that “Stairway” was a rip-off of “Taurus,” and that, having listened to the songs back to back thirty minutes before giving their verdict, they did not feel there were enough similarities to qualify it as copyright infringement on Zeppelin’s part. It certainly did not help that Skidmore’s lawyer is a much-hated attention whore who has since been suspended.
So what now? Well, Skidmore appeals the case, and either it gets sent back for additional proceedings–which seems doubtful, given that this was a high-profile trial that ended pretty definitively–or the ruling gets upheld, in which case there’s nothing to be done about it. Given that Zeppelin’s attorneys are seeking $800k in costs and fees, this feels somewhat like Skidmore trying to keep the case alive, but I’m not sure how far that’s going to go.
What do you guys think? As a Spirit fan, I took their side in the argument, but I wonder if this case needs to continue; meanwhile, Gear Gods’ Max Frank claimed that while Zeppelin may have technically stolen “Stairway,” they didn’t do so spiritually. Let us know in the comments whether you think Skidmore’s taking this too far or whether this case should be re-examined, especially given how terrible Skidmore’s lawyer appeared to be.