The long and winding saga of the copyright lawsuit over Led Zeppelin‘s chart-topping hit “Stairway To Heaven” has finally come to a close. After nearly six years of litigation, the Supreme Court of the United States has refused to hear the case, meaning that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling that the British classic rockers did not steal the song’s opening riff from the 1968 Spirit tune “Taurus” is the final word.

The case was first filed in 2014 by Michael Skidmore, a trustee for the estate of late Spirit guitarist Randy Wolfe—better known as Randy California, a nickname given to the American guitarist by Jimi Hendrix—who claimed the opening guitar melody was stolen from the instrumental “Taurus”, which came out three years before “Stairway”. In 2016, a federal jury ruled in favor of Led Zeppelin and back in March of this year, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that ruling.

Related: Just How Much Of Led Zeppelin’s Music Was Stolen?

The “Stairway To Heaven” plagiarism case has already seen wide-ranging implications in the world of musical copyright law. At the basis of the decision is the notion that commonplace chord progressions or melodies are much harder to copyright, and therefore only a minimal or “thin” level of copyright applies, and a plaintiff must show that the infringer’s work is “virtually identical” to the original, according to the New York Times.

Additionally, the appellate judges held that for works submitted before 1978—when new copyright laws were enacted—that only the notes submitted on the original sheet music are considered in a copyright case. In the instance of “Taurus”, Spirit submitted only a rough outline of the song and therefore many of the notes heard in the song’s introduction were not considered in the suit.

Skidmore challenged the court’s ruling on a variety of bases, including the fact that jurors didn’t get to hear the original “Taurus” recording at trail. Another major implication was the court’s ignoring of the “reverse ratio rule,” which means the higher the degree of access to a work (in this case, the recording of “Starway to Heaven”), the lower the bar for proving substantial similarity.

“As a practical matter, the concept of ‘access’ is increasingly diluted in our digitally interconnected world,” Judge M. Margaret McKeown said back in March. “Access is often proved by the wide dissemination of the copyrighted work. Given the ubiquity of ways to access media online, from YouTube to subscription services like Netflix and Spotify, access may be established by a trivial showing that the work is available on demand … The inverse ratio rule improperly dictates how the jury should reach its decision.”

This decision by the Ninth Circuit has already been cited in a $2.8 million lawsuit against Katy Perry, who had allegedly stolen an eight-note melody from a Christian rapper. The decision was also cited by a New York judge in the ongoing case concerning Ed Sheeran‘s alleged plagiarism of Marvin Gaye‘s “Let’s Get It On” in his song “Thinking Out Loud”. That case was set to go to trail next month, but has been delayed due to travel restrictions placed on Sheeran and other witnesses living in the United Kingdom.

[H/T New York Times]