Led Zeppelin’s first challenge to dismiss a lawsuit over allegations they plagiarised portions of their iconic 1971 anthem, “Stairway To Heaven”, from a song by the group Spirit has been denied by a Pennsylvania judge.
Last month, the band challenged jurisdiction in the case, writing “The individual defendants are British citizens residing in England, own no property in Pennsylvania and have no contacts with Pennsylvania, let alone ties sufficient to render them essentially at home here."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, in response, the plaintiff amended the lawsuit with some emphasis on why a Pennsylvania judge should oversee the case: "Defendants are subject to specific jurisdiction in this district because they make millions of dollars from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by directly targeting this district for the exploitation of 'Stairway to Heaven' through CD sales, digital downloading, radio and television play, advertising, marketing, concert performances, other performances, licensing, and otherwise targeting resident individuals and businesses to profit off the exploitation of 'Stairway to Heaven.'”
U.S. District Court Judge Juan Sánchez has now denied the motion to dismiss or transfer without prejudice, meaning that the Zeppelin parties can still try again.
The lawsuit, brought by the estate of Spirit guitarist Randy California and members of the band, claims the acoustic introduction to “Stairway” was lifted from their 1968 instrumental, “Taurus.”
The two bands crossed paths during Zeppelin’s first US tour, which saw the future rock legends open for Vanilla Fudge and Spirit, and that’s where the Los Angeles band claims Jimmy Page was exposed to “Taurus.”
California drowned while rescuing his 12-year-old son from a rip current in Hawaii in early 1997.
This spring, Page called the lawsuit “ridiculous.”
“Stairway” originally appeared on Led Zeppelin’s untitled 1971 album; it has since been referred to as “Led Zeppelin IV.”
Expanded reissues of both "Led Zeppelin IV" and "Houses Of The Holy" are due October 28.
AUDIO: Led Zeppelin premiere unreleased version of Rock And Roll
VIDEO: Jimmy Page explains how he wrote Stairway To Heaven
VIDEO: Robert Plant performs on The Colbert Report
VIDEO: Led Zeppelin preview expanded Houses Of The Holy reissue
Search Led Zeppelin at hennemusic