According to NBC News, the Justice Department has supported LED ZEPPELIN in the “Stairway To Heaven” copyright lawsuit.
Last September, the court had unanimously overturned the jury’s decision that LED ZEPPELIN‘s 1971 classic was not a rip-off of SPIRIT‘s song.
In its brief filed Thursday, the Justice Department said the trial judge got it right when he ruled that the only work subject to copyright protection was the sheet music because the song was written before Congress changed the law in 1972, which gave protection to sound recordings.
In June 2016, a Los Angeles jury deliberated for about five hours before deciding unanimously in favor of LED ZEPPELIN.
The verdict in the LED ZEPPELIN case came down within 15 minutes of the jury’s request to re-listen to both SPIRIT‘s “Taurus” and “Stairway To Heaven”.
They wanted to hear a section of each song twice, alternating from one to the other. They decided that what they heard wasn’t substantially similar enough to call it copyright infringement.