Led Zeppelin copyright case is a stairway to riches for the lawyers

Singer Robert Plant, left, and guitarist Jimmy Page of the British rock band Led Zeppelin perform at the Live Aid concert at Philadelphia's J.F.K. Stadium on July 13, 1985.
(Rusty Kennedy / Associated Press)

To the editor: This lawsuit by the estate of a deceased songwriter against the band Led Zeppelin for allegedly ripping off the guitar intro for “Stairway to Heaven” smacks of lawyers being greedy and nothing more. (“‘Stairway to Heaven’ a ripoff? What copyright law doesn’t acknowledge about the creative process,” Opinion, June 16)

The attorneys for the estate of the late Spirit front man Randy Wolfe probably saw what happened in the case of Marvin Gaye’s estate and “Blurred Lines” last year, smelled financial blood in the water and decided they wanted some. The case with “Blurred Lines” was ridiculous — many songs throughout pop music sound similar without being plagiarized.

In the current case, “Stairway to Heaven” is an iconic hit while the other tune, “Taurus,” is largely unknown. Now, almost 20 years after the artist’s death, the attorneys are looking for a pay day.

This is good old American capitalism at its finest.


Scott W. Hughes, Westlake Village

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook