The judge in the copyright infringement lawsuit over Led Zeppelin's signature song, “Stairway To Heaven”, has rejected a bid to delay the case and has set the stage for the trial to begin in May.
Bloomberg reports the lawyer for the estate of Spirit guitarist Randy California had asked the Los Angeles court to grant extra time, in part to gather more information about the song’s earnings which - by one estimate – suggests the 1971 classic has made more than half a billion dollars.
Surviving Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Robert Plant objected to a proposed postponement to July, which would also have conflicted with Plant's European summer tour.
The court has scheduled a settlement conference next month for the opposing parties to try to resolve the dispute, while the band says they plan to file a motion for summary judgment to end the case.
The suit - brought by California's estate and members of Spirit – claims the acoustic introduction to 1971’s “Stairway” was lifted from their 1968 instrumental, “Taurus.”
The two bands shared the bill at several shows in late 1968 and 1969.
“Stairway To Heaven” appeared on the UK band’s 1971 album, “Led Zeppelin IV.”
One of the best-selling albums in music history, the project went on to sell more than 37 million copies worldwide, including 23 million in the US alone.
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