'Stairway to Heaven' plagiarism lawsuit moves forward - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

'Stairway to Heaven' plagiarism lawsuit moves forward

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Cropped photo of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page in concert uploaded to Flickr by Heinrich Klaffs CC by S.A. 2.0 Cropped photo of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page in concert uploaded to Flickr by Heinrich Klaffs CC by S.A. 2.0
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KHQ.com - Earlier this year, members of the band Spirit, and members of the estate for the band's deceased guitarist, Randy California, filed a lawsuit against Led Zeppelin, claiming the rock legends plagiarized a guitar riff and used it in Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven."

On Monday, a judge declared that the lawsuit could move forward after a move for dismissal failed. 

California's family members and bandmates say the guitarist wrote the opening riff for "Stairway to Heaven" in the band's song "Taurus" and are suing for credit and royalties to what many call Rock n' Roll's greatest song.

"What happened to Randy California and Spirit is wrong. Led Zeppelin needs to do the right thing and give credit where credit is due. Randy California deserves writing credit for "Stairway to Heaven," the plaintiffs said. 

Zeppelin challenged the suit, on the grounds that Pennsylvania courts had no jurisdiction in the matter, being that the members of Led Zeppelin reside in Britain.

"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," Zeppelin's lawyers said in their motion to dismiss. 

The judge denied the motion to dismiss the case, but Zeppelin can file further motions. 

The case centers around the opening to the two songs, which Spirit says are identical. Listen to each on embedded in this story and let us know what you think on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KHQLocalNews

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