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Copyrights Intellectual Property Litigation

Kozinski Angle In 9th Circuit’s Led Zeppelin Ruling

Defendants Led Zeppelin and its music labels were the winners in the copyright decision by the Ninth Circuit over the song “Stairway to Heaven.” But the estate of songwriter Randy Wolfe (p/k/a California) wasn’t the only one who got the short end. Among the collateral damage from the ruling was a 2002 precedent written by former Chief Judge Alex Kozinski that endorsed the so-called “inverse-ratio” rule.

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Defendants Led Zeppelin and its music labels were the winners in the copyright decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit over the song “Stairway to Heaven.” Skidmore v. Led Zeppelin, 16-56057 (9th Cir. 2020). The estate of songwriter Randy Wolfe (p/k/a California), guitarist for the 1960s rock group Spirit, that claimed the super group copied his work got the short end. But the estate wasn’t the only one.

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