Interesting to see Led Zeppelin finally in court over one of their fairly notorious 'borrowings'. Funnily enough I wasn't aware of the Spirit track in question, despite having fond memories of some of Randy California's work, but I don't think there's much doubt that Mr Page swiped that guitar figure for the opening of Stairway. Mind you, he does such great new things with it, and then goes off into such fabulous uncharted territory, that I think it would be mean-spirited to regard this as out and out plagiarism. And, let's face it, the vocabulary of rock and blues is so limited as to make imitation to the point of stealing inevitable. Paul Weller has based an entire career on it, and I don't mean that as any kind of criticism: the Modfather stands beyond reproach in this household.
Having said that I must admit I'm hoping that Led Zep get taken to the cleaners, and that other possible victims (I'm looking at you, Bert Jansch, or your Estate now you're no longer with us) follow suit (pun intended.) The reason is simple: I am mean-spirited enough to hope that what look to have been a genuinely unpleasant, if not downright nasty group of people, get their just deserts. Sorry guys, much as I love a lot of the music, I detest pretty much all of the attitude that went with it.