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Lawsuit Accusing Led Zeppelin of "Stairway" Theft, Proceeds.

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posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 10:11 PM
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I think that given the two bands' proximity to one another, and the fact that the song Taurus came first, Stairway to Heaven was definitely an instance of copying. With that said however, I think that the two songs are different enough to be distinctly different. There is a difference in directly copying something and incorporating the progression or general melody of the song. I don't think anyone would argue that the songs are identical by any means. Stairway to Heaven definitely added more, as opposed to subtracting, where the guitars are concerned. All in all I think they are guilty in that they basically used someone else's ideas to create their song, but their song is distinct enough not to legally be considered plagiarism.




posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 10:14 PM
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There are only 12 notes in the Western chromatic scale, not counting 1/4 step bends. While there are infinite ways of arranging this palette of notes in a composition, it is plausible that different musicians will stumble across combinations that sound good to their ear without realizing someone else had stumbled across a similar progression.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 10:18 PM
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a reply to: Musing

Yes but if a band samples too much of a song/beat/rhythm/etc. I think they can be held liable under U.S. copyright laws.

From the same article you quoted:


The use of sampling is controversial legally and musically. Experimental musicians who pioneered the technique in the 1940s to the 1960s sometimes did not inform or receive permission from the subjects of their field recordings or from copyright owners before constructing a musical piece out of these samples. In the 1970s, when hip hop was confined to local dance parties, it was unnecessary to obtain copyright clearance in order to sample recorded music at these parties. As the genre became a recorded form centred on rapping in the 1980s and subsequently went mainstream, it became necessary to pay to obtain legal clearance for samples, which was difficult for all but the most successful DJs, producers and rappers. As a result, a number of recording artists ran into legal trouble for uncredited samples, while the restrictiveness of current US copyright laws and their global impact on creativity also came under increased scrutiny.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 10:26 PM
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45 years & a dead drummer later...



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 10:26 PM
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originally posted by: Yeahkeepwatchingme
a reply to: Musing

So is it paying homage? Taking "cool" sounds and remixing them? Pure theft? Laziness?

Maybe a bit of both. I mean Public Enemy did wonders with the Flash Gordon theme but I have to admit, total thievery.


Can't say for sure... Would depend on the opinion of the court. Where do you draw the line? Does it have to sound "like" it or does it have to hit every note in the exact time, before it is called theft/plagiarism?



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 10:29 PM
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a reply to: skunkape23

Completely plausible. It's bound to happen soon or later. However in the case of Zeppelin vs Spirit this little fact doesn't help their case:



They also went on tour that year with support band Led Zeppelin, who were heavily influenced by Spirit—Led Zeppelin played an extended medley during their early 1969 shows that featured "Fresh Garbage" among other songs, Jimmy Page's use of a therein has been attributed to his seeing Randy California use one that he had mounted to his amplifier,[1] and Led Zeppelin is thought to have adapted the iconic opening riff for "Stairway to Heaven" from the Spirit's tune "Taurus".[2] In 2014, Mark Andes, and a trust acting on behalf of Randy California, filed a copyright infringement suit against Led Zeppelin in an attempt to obtain a writing credit for "Stairway To Heaven".[3]


Zeppelin probable knew the song in question, and maybe even played it, before he wrote Stairway. Spirit's song was release two years before Zeppelin's. It would have been right around the time they toured with them. Coincidence I think not. I can see why Spirit may have a pretty good case against Zeppelin.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 10:31 PM
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originally posted by: blackcatmagic
a reply to: Musing

Yes but if a band samples too much of a song/beat/rhythm/etc. I think they can be held liable under U.S. copyright laws.

From the same article you quoted:


The use of sampling is controversial legally and musically. Experimental musicians who pioneered the technique in the 1940s to the 1960s sometimes did not inform or receive permission from the subjects of their field recordings or from copyright owners before constructing a musical piece out of these samples. In the 1970s, when hip hop was confined to local dance parties, it was unnecessary to obtain copyright clearance in order to sample recorded music at these parties. As the genre became a recorded form centred on rapping in the 1980s and subsequently went mainstream, it became necessary to pay to obtain legal clearance for samples, which was difficult for all but the most successful DJs, producers and rappers. As a result, a number of recording artists ran into legal trouble for uncredited samples, while the restrictiveness of current US copyright laws and their global impact on creativity also came under increased scrutiny.


As I said in a previous post, your liability depends on where the court draws the line.

EDIT: Your post above this one... If I were presiding over the case, I would definitely be taking that into consideration.
edit on 10/20/2014 by Musing because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 10:47 PM
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Some would call it plagerism. Others call it sampling.
I am a huge fan of zep but in my opinion they sampled it. Maybe they couldnt get the rights or didnt try.
When u listen to the song by spirit you can clearly hear the melody.
Zepp changed things but the main melody was there. Seems pretty clear to me. People will always know the melody as being zepps but its not.
The writer of the song by spirit should get compensation. A 1 time check or a percentage of back sales. Thats for the lawyers to hash out.
Sounding similar and having the same melody are very different.
When artists sample legally money changes hands. Illegally and it goes to court. Either way, paige will prob be dead before its settled.
Bands have gone after other bands for less. Also, gallows pole is a leadbelly song.

Here is a factoid on how silly it can get. John fogerty got sued by his label for plagerising himself.
When he went solo his label was called fantasy. The label said his song old man down the road took a chorus that sounded like the chorus from run through the jungle. Fogerty wrote both.
Fogerty played his guitar on the stand to show they were two different compositions. It went to supreme court.
if an artist can get sued for borrowing his own material then the zepp thing should really go to court.
of course paige could avoid all that and write a check



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 10:51 PM
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a reply to: CardiffGiant

Hmm, one thing I can see with Paige handing a check over is people would assume it's to avoid being legally labeled a ripoff artist. I agree that it'll be dragged on for years even until Paige is dead.

And isn't the composer of the Spirit song dead now?



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 10:55 PM
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We could say this about 1000 songs, why didn't the original writer put forth a law suit 30 years ago? Also, isn't there a limit to the years before one can actually sued? One also needs to think about that songs do follow similar rifts....

Think of ice ice baby and under pressure.....
edit on 20-10-2014 by Xtrozero because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 10:55 PM
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a reply to: JiggyPotamus

The melody is the same. The songs as a whole are different but the intro to stairway is the melody from taurus.

Also, about there being so much music things get recycled..i think when a recycle happens its due to the lack of musicianship from the band.

There are so many notes, scales, time signatures, instruments, etc etc...
There is so much to pull from that if a band had a solid foundation they would not come across as recycling.
You can write a 10 song cd only in the key of a for example and not have to recycle anything.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 10:57 PM
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a reply to: Xtrozero

Who knows? Maybe he was a true hippie and disregarded the monetary fortune he could make if it were proven?



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 11:06 PM
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originally posted by: skunkape23
There are only 12 notes in the Western chromatic scale, not counting 1/4 step bends. While there are infinite ways of arranging this palette of notes in a composition, it is plausible that different musicians will stumble across combinations that sound good to their ear without realizing someone else had stumbled across a similar progression.

12 natural notes. Accidentals. Harmonics. The chords and their different voicings.
What about the other zillion scales. What about the modes of those scales.
There are infinite combos. Chromatic notes are usually thrown in for embellishments. Start adding instruments. Alter tuning. Then factor in all the different techniques to get different results.
Sweep picking for the legato sound.
If a band knows their theory the possibilities are endless.
Then you can get deeper when you structure your song. Its not just nores you use but where you use them.
Bands like ac dc make their career using the pentatonic scale.
There are lots of scales.

Anyway, i think paige knew what he was doing. They shared bills together. He had heard the song and paige is too good of a musician not to hear the similarities.



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 11:13 PM
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I remember reading somewhere about Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" having its roots in another country song, but for the life of me, cannot remember what it was, and cannot find the reference. Anyone else?



posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 11:18 PM
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a reply to: Xtrozero

Its said about ice ice baby cause its a clear rip off. Dumb ass van winkle changed 1 note and thought he had himself an original composition.
Hahaha



posted on Oct, 21 2014 @ 12:13 AM
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If you ask me, Pink Floyd - Is There Anybody Out There? sounds more like the Spirit tune than Stairway does.



posted on Oct, 21 2014 @ 12:58 AM
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a reply to: blackcatmagic
Back in the day everyone playing on a guitar...would play this riff.
Each time I heard it...I thought - "Wow...That's great! You're good!"
Then, playing with my first 'professional' band...I got to hear a lot of lead &/or rhythm guitarists give their rendition/s... And - they were ALL so much better than the former amateurs I had heard...
'Til one day - our new lead guitarist...who had actually played on a huge album...played the riff.
He first told me/us that most every amateur just played the chord progression right...but, that they didn't play the neck chords (paraphrase) like Jimmy Page.
Then, he played it as Page did...and the difference was like an autograph.
Point being - you might find that chord progression in 100 different songs written over the last century...
But, the way Page played it...made it Zeppelin's - imo.



posted on Oct, 21 2014 @ 01:20 AM
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Boo hoo. Wahhhh!!

The lawsuit looks more like a tribute to one of the greatest musical masterpieces of all time.

S&F for the OP and many stars for the thoughtful comments.



posted on Oct, 21 2014 @ 01:31 AM
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This topic was the subject of an earlier thread, started when the lawsuit was originally announced. The plagiaristic adventures of Led Zeppelin were well covered in that, so I'd rather focus here on what this new announcement means. As far as I can see, it merely gives the plaintiffs leave to sue in a Pennsylvania court, dismissing the defendants' objection that they do not live, trade or own property in Pennsylvania.

Led Zep's lawyers will probably now ask for dismissal on other grounds. There's a long way to go before any discussion of the actual merits of the case begin.

For the record, my position is that Led Zeppelin, one of my favourite bands, were frightful thieves, but what they stole was mostly utter dross, which they transformed into gold. They deserve their Croesian wealth; the people from whom they stole deserve a share, but a very small one, in the pile of money earned by Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and their confrères.



posted on Oct, 21 2014 @ 01:50 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax
Agreed.
It would be nice if the world worked the way you've suggested (a small percent of the take shared with those that played minor/contributory roles in inspiration, creativity, etc...), but - that kind of parity doesn't appear to be in the cards for this existence.



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