Rock And Roll Plagiarism

n this July 13, 1985 file photo, singer Robert Plant, left, and guitarist Jimmy Page of the British rock band Led Zeppelin perform at the Live Aid concert at Philadelphia’s J.F.K. Stadium. Generations of aspiring guitarists have tried to copy the riff from Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” Starting Tuesday, June 14, 2016, a Los Angeles court will try to decide whether the members of Led Zeppelin themselves ripped off that riff. Page and Plant are named as defendants in the lawsuit brought by the trustee of late guitarist Randy Wolfe from the band Spirit.
n this July 13, 1985 file photo, singer Robert Plant, left, and guitarist Jimmy Page of the British rock band Led Zeppelin perform at the Live Aid concert at Philadelphia's J.F.K. Stadium. Generations of aspiring guitarists have tried to copy the riff from Led Zeppelin's “Stairway to Heaven.” Starting Tuesday, June 14, 2016, a Los Angeles court will try to decide whether the members of Led Zeppelin themselves ripped off that riff. Page and Plant are named as defendants in the lawsuit brought by the trustee of late guitarist Randy Wolfe from the band Spirit. Rusty Kennedy / AP, file
n this July 13, 1985 file photo, singer Robert Plant, left, and guitarist Jimmy Page of the British rock band Led Zeppelin perform at the Live Aid concert at Philadelphia’s J.F.K. Stadium. Generations of aspiring guitarists have tried to copy the riff from Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” Starting Tuesday, June 14, 2016, a Los Angeles court will try to decide whether the members of Led Zeppelin themselves ripped off that riff. Page and Plant are named as defendants in the lawsuit brought by the trustee of late guitarist Randy Wolfe from the band Spirit.
n this July 13, 1985 file photo, singer Robert Plant, left, and guitarist Jimmy Page of the British rock band Led Zeppelin perform at the Live Aid concert at Philadelphia's J.F.K. Stadium. Generations of aspiring guitarists have tried to copy the riff from Led Zeppelin's “Stairway to Heaven.” Starting Tuesday, June 14, 2016, a Los Angeles court will try to decide whether the members of Led Zeppelin themselves ripped off that riff. Page and Plant are named as defendants in the lawsuit brought by the trustee of late guitarist Randy Wolfe from the band Spirit. Rusty Kennedy / AP, file

Rock And Roll Plagiarism

Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are in a Los Angeles courtroom this week defending their famous hit “Stairway to Heaven.” They’re being sued by the estate of the founder of the niche 1960s rock band Spirit for alleged music plagiarism.

Music geek and author Tim English has taken a deep dive into music plagiarism with his book Sounds Like Teen Spirit: Stolen Melodies, Ripped-off Riffs, and the Secret History of Rock and Roll. He provides examples of stolen riffs and how the Led Zep case fits into all of this.