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Led Zeppelin received another move of support in the “Stairway to Heaven” lawsuit, which will be receiving a new hearing in 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Per NBC News, the Justice Department filed a brief in support of Led Zeppelin stating that the lawsuit’s initial ruling, which was found in favor of Zeppelin, was the correct ruling.

The original lawsuit was brought on by the estate of late Spirit guitarist Randy California (real name Randy Wolfe) who wrote the song “Taurus” in 1967. Since the song was written before 1972 when the copyright law was changed, only the submitted sheet music and not the audio recording can be used in copyright cases.

The estate is arguing that Zeppelin ripped off a chord progression in “Taurus” that was used as the intro to “Stairway to Heaven.” Zeppelin’s defense argues that the descending four-chord progression on “Taurus” was common and not subject to copyright protection, thus proving Zeppelin didn’t rip off Spirit.

This brief from the Justice Department follows a joint amicus brief from 123 artists and music organizations that argues, “There was no evidence presented at the Led Zeppelin trial that the otherwise unprotected elements that appeared in [Spirit’s] ‘Taurus’ were presented in such an original pattern or compilation as to garner copyright protection.”

The brief further argues that if the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals finds in favor of the California/Wolfe estate that, “Any artist who reads the opinion may very well fear that the (very common) use of any ‘descending chromatic scales, arpeggios or short sequences of three notes,’ or any elements in the ‘public domain,’ could form the basis of an infringement action.”

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Erica Banas is rock/classic rock news blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.