“Stairway to Heaven” Prompts Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

Our NYC and Miami Entertainment Law Firm advises and represents clients in all legal matters related to music, sports, television/film, visual and literary works, modeling, online matters, and intellectual property.

In the Florida music industry, it is not uncommon for artists to borrow from one another. However, in entertainment and music law, there is a fine line between borrowing and copyright infringement.

When someone creates a work that is arguably based on a copyrighted material, there is potential for a legal battle to be waged. For instance, the famous rock ‘n’ roll band Led Zeppelin has recently been named in a copyright infringement lawsuit, filed in federal court by the heirs of songwriter Randy Craig Wolfe. Wolfe, perhaps better known by the name Randy California, was a member of Spirit, a group whose 1968 opening act on tour was Led Zeppelin. The complaint alleges that Led Zeppelin’s famous song “Stairway to Heaven” was largely copied from Spirit’s song “Taurus.”

Wolfe’s heirs are requesting an order deeming Wolfe a co-writer of “Stairway to Heaven,” as well as profits made by the defendants and statutory and punitive damages.

Copyright law lends protection to original works of art by granting the copyright owner the exclusive right to reproduce, publicly display and distribute copies of a particular work of art. Additionally, the copyright owner is the only one with the right to create other works based on the protected work.

In the music and entertainment industry, ideas are what set one artist apart from others and what ultimately lead to success and stardom. As a result, it is imperative to instill safeguards against infringement of one’s ideas by others. Copyright law can be confusing and complicated as it often deals with intangibles that present complex legal issues. Florida entertainment lawyers can help navigate these issues and defend the legal rights of artists. Florida attorneys can not only help entertainers protect their own work, but can help fend off frivolous claims related to copyright infringement.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, “Here’s the Lawsuit Claiming Led Zeppelin Stole ‘Stairway to Heaven’,” Eriq Gardner, June 2, 2014

The entertainment industry can be a complicated field to navigate. As a trusted leader in Miami entertainment law, ChaseLawyers can help. With over 40 years of experience, Our Miami based lawyers have helped individuals in nearly every area of entertainment law in Miami, including sports, music, film, television, modeling, literature, and more. We understand the unique challenges you face as a creative, and we’re prepared to protect your interests.

As an artist in Miami, you must navigate the intricacies of copyright law, trademarks, contractual agreements, and much more. It is critical you choose a qualified Miami entertainment lawyer with expertise in the nuances of the entertainment world. ChaseLawyers has built a stellar reputation among our clientele for honest, professional representation that produces effective results. We have extensive experience in the unique legal elements you must navigate as an artist, and our attorneys can provide you with indispensable career advice and expertise over the course of your entertainment career.

When you work with ChaseLawyers, you are more than just a client. We care about your well-being and can provide essential advice on the issues you face in the Miami market, such as intellectual property issues, negotiating service agreements, publicity rights, and much more. We also have an extensive network of resources available for our clients to connect with, and those connections can enrich your career in countless ways. Our team understands the complex world of entertainment law and will take care of your legal needs so you can focus on doing what you do best—sharing your talent with the world!

When you’re ready to take the next step in your career, our Miami entertainment lawyers are ready to help you. We are passionate about helping creatives with all of their legal needs, and you won’t find a team more dedicated to your success in all of Miami. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!