Musicians face a lot of scrutiny when it comes to their songs. When one musician believes another artist or band stole their song, they can file a copyright infringement lawsuit. A recent lawsuit filed against Led Zeppelin is an example of the legal action other bands can take if they think their song or melody was stolen by another artist.
The band Spirit has filed the lawsuit against Led Zeppelin, saying the band stole their song to use in the introduction to "Stairway to Heaven." The lawsuit claims that song is very similar to their song "Taurus." The band is seeking monetary damages and has filed an injunction to stop the band from re-releasing the album with the famous song.
This is not the first copyright infringement case Led Zeppelin has faced. Copyright infringement can be difficult to prove. Plaintiffs will have to prove that the songs in question are almost identical and that Led Zeppelin had access to their song.
To address these issues, the lawsuit claims that Led Zeppelin had access to their song and many other songs because Led Zeppelin was their opening act back in 1968. The lawsuit also says that both bands played at several of the same festivals in 1969, where Led Zeppelin would have had access to several of their songs.
This case is an example of the legal action individuals or groups can take over copyright violations. When your company's ideas or products are used by another person or group without your permission, it can damage your reputation and value of your company. Business owners in California should understand that copyright infringement cases rely on evidence that proves your copyrighted material was used without your permission and that the defendant had access to your product to increase the chances of winning your lawsuit.
Source: Ultimate Classic Rock, "Led Zeppelin sued by Spirit bassist for 'Stairway to Heaven'," Dave Lifton, May 16, 2014