Jury verdict tossed in ‘Stairway to Heaven’ copyright suit

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A U.S. appeals court has thrown out a jury’s verdict that Led Zeppelin did not copy an obscure 1960s instrumental for the intro to its classic 1971 rock anthem “Stairway to Heaven.”

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled Friday that a lower court judge had provided wrong jury instructions.

It sent the case back to the court for a new trial.

The lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles claimed the song’s famous riff was copied from the song “Taurus” by the band Spirit.

A trustee for the estate of late guitarist Randy Wolfe from the band Spirit claims Led Zeppelin stole the recognizable riff from the song “Taurus.”

A phone message left with an attorney for Led Zeppelin was not immediately returned.

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