In an update to our previous post, the jury in the copyright infringement lawsuit against members of legendary rock band Led Zeppelin found that the defendants did not steal a portion of “Stairway to Heaven” from another band.
About a month ago, we discussed the copyright infringement lawsuit against Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of legendary rock band Led Zeppelin. In an update, the trial is now underway, with Page, Led Zeppelin’s lead guitarist until the band broke up in 1981, testifying that he was unaware of the song from which he is accused of stealing the opening riff of “Stairway to Heaven” when he and Plant wrote their song.
After an innovative new product hits the market and becomes a big success, it naturally follows that competitors will want to come up with a similar item to keep up. Sometimes, these new products cross the line and infringe on the trademark owned by the original product’s creator.
You quote a few lines from a Prince song in a newsletter you’re preparing for work. Your daughter copies a few sentences from a magazine article into her social studies homework assignment. Your wife records her favorite television show to watch later in the week with a group of her girlfriends.
Sampling other songs is common in pop music, but if you do not get the proper license to use someone else’s copyrighted work, you could find yourself in court. However, while getting permission is generally easier, it is possible to avoid losing in court in certain cases.