Led Zeppelin have won a long-running court case accusing them of stealing their song Stairway to Heaven.

The rock legends were accused of ripping off the 1971 classic from the song Taurus, written by Randy Wolfe, a guitarist in the band Spirit. Taurus was written in 1968, three years before Stairway to Heaven.

On Monday, a panel of 11 judges revealed their 9-2 decision that Stairway to Heaven did not infringe the copyright of the Spirit song.

Circuit judge Margaret McKeown spoke after the verdict, referencing the challenges in getting to this point.

"This case was carefully considered by the District Court (judge) and the jury," McKeown said. "The trial and appeal process has been a long climb up the Stairway to Heaven."

Wolfe, who performed as Randy California, drowned in 1997. The case was brought by Michael Skidmore, a trustee for his estate.

Led Zeppelin and Spirit played live together after Taurus was written, and Mr Skidmore suggested Page may have penned his riff after listening to Taurus live. He claimed the songs had similar chord progressions.

The case went to a high-profile trial in 2016, at which Page and Plant gave evidence. The jury rejected the claim at that time, deciding the tracks were "not intrinsically similar".

However, in 2018 the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals decided the trial judge had made a series of errors and ordered a new hearing.

The decision in the five-year-old case was a victory for a music industry still combating fallout from a 2015 verdict that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams' 2013 hit Blurred Lines copied Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit Got to Give it Up.

Jurors awarded Gaye’s children $7.4m, which was later reduced to $5.3m. The singer Katy Perry is appealing against a $2.8m verdict reached last August in a copyright case over her song Dark Horse.

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