Watch and compare: The song that Led Zeppelin is on trial for 'copying' in 'Stairway to Heaven'
The trial related to the plagiarism charges began on Wednesday in the US.
It's the court case that's gripped the global music industry. Being fought between members of Led Zeppelin and Michael Skidmore, it's related to plagiarism charges against Zeppelin's classic Stairway to Heaven. And it's finally underway.
Skidmore is the trustee for the estate of Spirit's Randy Wolfe (who performed under the moniker Randy California) and alleges that Stairway to Heaven rips off Taurus (video above), a song Wolfe wrote in 1968.
The lawsuit had alleged that Led Zeppelin have “a deep-rooted history of lifting composition from blues artists and other songwriters who they have repeatedly failed to credit”. By way of example, it refers to 16 other lawsuits concerned with Led Zeppelin's songs, including hits like Whole Lotta Love.
Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page denied the accusations in court. The trial is expected to go on for a few days.
The bone of contention is the opening riff in each of the two tracks. There's no denying they sound very similar. What Led Zeppelin is arguing is that this riff is very commonly used in rock music, that it would be like copyright protecting a 4/4 drum beat or a particular chord progression.
Judge Gary Klausener, who is presiding over the current trial, had judged in April 2016 that there were enough similarities between the two songs for the trial to be heard before a jury.
In 2015, an American jury delivered a widely-debated decision and awarded the Marvin Gaye estate millions of dollars because they believed that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams' Blurred Lines had plagiarised Gaye's Got To Give It Up.
The latest target of a multi-million dollar lawsuit is British hitmaker Ed Sheeran whose single Photograph has been accused of plagiarising California songwriter duo Martin Harrington and Tom Leonard's 2012 song Amazing.