A copyright infringement lawsuit claiming the iconic rock band Led Zeppelin stole the classic guitar pluck for "Stairway to Heaven" from another 1970s rock band will continue to be considered — just not in Philadelphia.
U.S. District Court Judge Juan Sanchez on Friday chose not to dismiss the lawsuit, which was first filed last May on behalf of the trust for Spirit band member Randy California whose real name is Randy Craig Wolfe, in the "interest of justice," he wrote in a memo.
Sanchez did, however, grant a motion filed by attorneys for the band and record label Warner Music Friday to move the case to the Central District of California.
California's trustees allege Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page used the same guitar riff that Spirit used in the song "Taurus," which was released two years earlier in 1968. Zeppelin opened for the band while on tour and covered their songs a year before Page penned "Stairway," the lawsuit claims.
Many fans and critics have noted the similarities between the songs. (Listen: "Taurus" | "Stairway to Heaven") Bloomberg Business even created an online game asking people to try and spot differences.
Attorneys for the band and their record labels sought to have the suit tossed out on jurisdictional grounds as none of the parties involved — including California's trust — has ties to Pennsylvania with the exception of trust attorney Francis Alexander Maloify, who is based in Media. If Sanchez wouldn't dismiss the case, the defendants wanted it transferred to a California court.
The trust is seeking undisclosed compensation in the case. An attorney for the band could not be immediately reached for comment.