A federal appeals court on Monday agreed to review it’s latest decision on whether or not Led Zeppelin ripped off the opening guitar riff of to their legendary rock hit “Stairway to Heaven.”
In September 2018, the 9th Circuit of Appeals in San Francisco ordered a retrial in the copyright case against the rock band, who is being accused of stealing the guitar part from the song “Taurus,” written by guitarist Randy Wolfe of the band Spirit.
The court in their decision said the Los Angeles jury in the original 2016 case — which ruled in favor of Led Zeppelin — should have been allowed to hear a recording of “Taurus,” instead of being forced to issue a ruling based only on the testimony of music experts and renditions of the song as dictated by its sheet music.
The original jury did not get to hear “Taurus” played in the courtroom because its composition had copyright protection.
“We conclude that the district court abused its discretion by not allowing the sound recordings of ‘Taurus’ to be played,” the three-judge appeals panel wrote in its 42-page decision last year.
Monday’s decision was at the request of Led Zeppelin, who is seeking a broader rehearing by the appeals court.
But Francis Malofiy, a lawyer the trustee representing Wolfe’s estate, was confident a retrial will go on as scheduled.
The 11-judge appeals court panel under Monday’s order will determine whether to broaden copyright protection for “Taurus,” according to Malofiy.
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