Associated Press reports that a federal appeals court has agreed to give Led Zeppelin a new hearing to defend the jury’s favorable verdict in the lawsuit claiming that the opening lines of “Stairway to Heaven” were plagiarized from Spirit’s 1968 instrumental track “Taurus.”
The source adds that an 11-judge panel will hear the case in late September in San Francisco, CA.
As reported, the band was initially cleared of plagiarism charges in June 2016 after the jury deliberated for about five hours before coming up with a unanimous decision in favor of Led Zeppelin.
The verdict was given within 15 minutes of the jury’s request to re-listen to both songs twice, ultimately deciding that what they heard wasn’t similar enough to brand it copyright infringement.
The source adds:
“Led Zeppelin’s lawyers moved to the next level of appeal, asking for the larger group of judges to rehear the case, and the request was granted. The 11-judge panel will hear the case in late September in San Francisco.”
Last September, a three-judge panel ruled that the judge at the trial failed to properly advise the jury, ordering a new trial. The judges unanimously said that the trial judge was wrong to tell jurors that individual elements of a song such as its notes or scale may not qualify for copyright protection, because a combination of those elements may qualify if they are sufficiently original.