Led Zeppelin appear in court over Stairway to Heaven dispute

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Led Zeppelin guitarist Page (right) and lead singer Plant say they wrote Stairway to Heaven in a remote cottage in Wales

Members of the rock band Led Zeppelin have appeared in court after being accused of borrowing from another song for their 1971 hit Stairway To Heaven.

Singer Robert Plant and guitarist Jimmy Page appeared at the LA court ahead of the start of the trial on Tuesday.

The lawsuit claims that the song’s opening chords were taken from Taurus, a 1967 track by the band Spirit.

Plant, 67, and Page, 72, did not speak to each other or their lawyers in the courtroom, according to reports.

A judge ruled in April that there was potential for a jury to find a “substantial” similarity between the two recordings and approved the case.

The copyright infringement action is being taken on behalf of late guitarist Randy Wolfe, also known as Randy California, who played on the same bill as Led Zeppelin in the 1960s.

Lawyers for Wolfe say Page and Plant wrote Stairway To Heaven after hearing their client play Taurus, and that he should be given a writing credit.

Page and Plant say they wrote the song in a remote cottage in Wales and were not influenced by Wolfe’s chord progression.

Lawyers for Led Zeppelin say the chord progression cited in the civil lawsuit is so common that it did not deserve copyright protection.

Bloomberg Businessweek said that the Stairway To Heaven had earned $562m (£334m) as of 2008.

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