2016 — Spirit versus Led Zeppelin

A couple of weeks ago in LA, a jury ruled that Led Zeppelin’s famous anthem Stairway to Heaven did not infringe on the copyright of the song Taurus by the band Spirit. In the courtroom, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant looked a little dazed and confused, but relieved.

Courts haven’t always sided this way.  Here’s a side by side comparison of two more of the most well-known copyright cases in Rock History. Listen and see how you’d vote as a juror.

2015 — Marvin Gaye versus Robin Thicke & Pharrell Williams

Marvin Gaye’s estate sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, claiming their hit song Blurred Lines copied Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit Gotta Give it Up. Winner: Marvin Gaye’s estate.

1971 — The Chiffons versus George Harrison

The Chiffons claimed that George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord stole from their song He’s So Fine—and the court agreed, even though it thought Harrison did it unintentionally.