A copyright trial claiming that Jay Z and his producer Timberland did not get proper permission for using a sample from an Egyptian song for ‘’Big Pimpin” ended Wednesday after U.S. district judge Christina Snyder ruled that the plaintiff lacked the right to pursue a copyright infringement claim against them.
‘’Big Pimpin” which was released in 1999 sampled part of the 1957 song Khosara Khosara performed by Abdel Halim Hafez. Both Jay Z (real name Shawn Carter) and Timberland (real name Timothy Mosley) stated that they paid $100,000 to EMI Music Arabia for the license to use the hook back in 2001.
Osama Fahmy, nephew of Egyptian composer Bagligh Hamdi, had fought for eight-years to penalize Jay Z and Timberland before judge Snyder finally ruled that Egyptian law did not apply in this case. Fahmy’s lawyer argues that Jay Z and Timberland still should have gotten permission from Hamdi’s family as well as EMI Music Arabia.
According to The Hollywood Reporter Jay Z and Timberland responded with the claim, when Fahmy signed rights to ‘’Khosara Khosara” to the Middle Eastern record label South El Phan over a decade ago, he gave up the standing to file the lawsuit.
Christine Lepera, Jay Z and Timberland’s attorney, said in a statement, ‘’The court correctly ruled that the plaintiff had no right to bring this case and cannot pursue any claim of infringement in connection with ‘Big Pimpin’ whatsoever.
According to the Guardian the verdict ended a closely watched trial, which touched on cultural sensitivities, with the lawsuit claiming the rap duo reused ”Khosara Khosara” in an offensive way with lyrics which disrespected women and violated the composer’s moral rights under Egyptian law.