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Lawsuit looms over Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven

Published on May 21, 2014 6:22 AM
An image released on 15 May 2014 shows British guitarist Jimmy Page of the band Led Zeppelin at a press conference in Berlin, Germany, on April 16 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: EPA

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A lawyer in Philadelphia is gearing up to sue Led Zeppelin for allegedly pilfering another band’s music when it composed and recorded its 1971 classic Stairway to Heaven.

Contacted by AFP on Tuesday, Francis Alexander Malofiy confirmed a report in Bloomberg Businessweek saying a copyright lawsuit is in the works, but declined to give details.

According to the magazine, the plaintiffs in the pending case allege Led Zeppelin lifted the opening riffs of Stairway to Heaven from a 1968 instrumental called Taurus recorded by the Los Angeles psychedelic band Spirit.

The plaintiffs include Spirit’s founding bassist Mark Andes and the trust that manages royalties for the band’s guitarist Randy California, who died in 1997.

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