OA236: Stairway to… the Supreme Court??

Today’s deep-dive Tuesday tackles a long-running lawsuit by the estate of Randy California — the founder, lead singer, and guitarist for the band Spirit — alleging that Led Zeppelin stole the iconic riff for “Stairway to Heaven” from Spirit’s 1968 song “Taurus.”  With assistance from Thomas on guitar, we tackle all of the fun issues that are currently pending before the 9th Circuit… and possibly headed to the Supreme Court!

We begin, however, with two follow-up questions that got cut from Friday’s blockbuster show regarding the American Media, Inc. plea agreement:  (1) Could David Pecker still be indicted? and the big one:  (2) Can Donald Trump pardon a corporation?  The answer… may surprise you!

After that, it’s time for a deep dive into the law regarding musical copyright and an exploration of the similarities and differences between “Taurus” and “Stairway to Heaven.”  Where do Andrew and Thomas come out?  You’ll have to listen to find out!

After that, it’s time for the answer to Thomas Takes The Bar Exam #105 regarding a bank and a car dealership attempting to modify a contract.  As always, remember to follow our Twitter feed (@Openargs) and like our Facebook Page so that you too can play along with #TTTBE!


None!  If you’d like to have either of us as a guest on your show, drop us an email at openarguments@gmail.com.

Show Notes & Links

  1. We discussed the AMI deal in Episode 235.
  2. You can check out Spirit’s “Taurus” by clicking here.
  3. Click here to read the original (and awesome!) Randy California v. Led Zeppelin complaint; you can also read (1) the jury verdict by the trial court; (2) the brief filed by Taurus in the 9th Circuit; (3) the opposition brief filed by Led Zeppelin; (4) the 9th Circuit’s ruling; (5) the petition for rehearing en banc filed by Led Zeppelin; (6) the opposition to that motion for rehearing en banc; and (7) the just-filed reply brief by Led Zeppelin (filed 12-10-08).  Phew!
  4. Finally, click here for a mashup of “My Sweet Lord” (George Harrison) and “He’s So Fine” (The Chiffons).

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