Stairway to Heaven? Jury finds Led Zeppelin not liable in copyright case

For those that grew up in the 70s and 80s and on Rock n Roll, Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ is one of the all time rock anthems. The band has been defending copyright infringement claims from the estate of an artist who wrote a song that was similar to Stairway.

This interesting summary of the case from the Rolling Stone detailed the heated exchanges between the attorneys and provides some observations from a layman point of view:

The Rolling Stone link provides a version of a song called ‘Taurus’ by the band Spirit. The guitar riff sounds surprisingly similar to the intro in ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ What may surprise some is that in a copyright infringement case like this one, the jury is not allowed to hear the original recordings of “Stairway to Heaven” and “Taurus” in determining their verdict. Instead, an expert performs both songs based on the original sheet music.

While both Jimmy Page and Robert Plant denied remembering the band Spirit or their song, there was evidence they shared the same stage as Spirit in the past, and that Page owned a copy of the Spirit record with Taurus on it.

Shurtleff Law: Bryan, Texas attorney, College Station, Texas attorney handling personal injury, business and civil trial cases.

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Is 75 m.p.h. too fast for metro areas?

The State Highway 6 corridor through Bryan/College Station is approximately 15 miles long from the Business 6 exit, on the north end, to the William D. Fitch exit, on the south end. There are now 46 ingress and egress access points (on and off ramps) on the highway in that 15 mile stretch. The maximum speed limit is currently 75 m.p.h.

Based on the amount of vehicle traffic on this stretch of highway and the high number of ingress and egress points, especially during peak and daytime hours, is it time to review the safety and reasonableness of the speed limit?

The numerous entrance and exit ramps create hazards for the reasonable driver due to the difficulty for vehicles entering the freeway to approach the 75 m.p.h. rate of speed, and due to vehicles slowing to exit. In some cases, the shorter length of the entrance ramps do not provide sufficient length and time for many vehicles to accelerate to highway speeds.

Shurtleff Law:  Bryan, Texas attorney; College Station, Texas attorney handling personal injury, business and civil trial cases.

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