NOW I KNOW WHY RANDY CALIFORNIA’S CLAIM OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT WASN’T BARRED BY THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
The answer is in an article discussing the current status of the case. The case is still going on. Randy California’s estate appealed the jury verdict against it, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the jury verdict, and the panel decision is now up for review by the full Ninth Circuit.
What is the answer? The owner of the performance rights to Stairway to Heaven still collects royalties for every performance of the song, and each time they do, they allegedly violate Randy California’s copyright again. As long as people keep broadcasting or purchasing copies of the Led Zeppelin song, the claim that it infringes Randy California’s copyright will still be alive (well, I guess whoever owns the performance rights to Stairway to Heaven could give up those rights, but we know that’s not going to happen, and it will probably be a long time before people finally stop broadcasting or purchasing copies of it).
So, now I can explain why that claim for copyright infringement wasn't barred by the statute of limitations, even though the allegedly infringing song was released in 1971.
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