Court documents were filed yesterday (August 10) in the lawsuit over the rights to the sample in Jay Z‘s song “Big Pimpin’.” In the documents, both Jay Z and Timbaland are scheduled to testify in the case, which goes to trial October 13, Billboard reports. Timbaland produced the song.
Osama Ahmed Fahmy filed the lawsuit in 2007 against Jay Z, Timbaland and outlets who used the song for promotional purposes. Fahmy is the nephew of Baligh Hamdy, who composed “Khosara, Khosara,” which was identified as the track sampled in “Big Pimpin’.”
When the song was released in 1999 on Jay Z’s Vol. 3 … Life and Times of S. Carter, Timbaland paid $100,000 to clear the sample with EMI Music, who said it owned the rights to the song via a deal with an Egyptian company in conjunction with an agreement from Hamdy’s family.
Fahmy says that because the artists did not get the consent from the author of the original song through his family according to Egyptian law, any use of the song would be unauthorized.
“The evidence will also show that the defendants did not obtain the consent of the author or his heirs to introduce modifications in or additions to ‘Khosara Khosara,'” the plaintiff statement reads. “Therefore, any license to economically exploit ‘Khosara Khosara’ in ‘Big Pimpin” would be null and void.”
Jay Z, Timbaland and the defendants state that the use of cultural customs does not apply to United States law and that they used the sample legally.
“Throughout the course of this litigation, Plaintiff has consistently tried to make this a case about so-called ‘moral rights,'” the statement reads, “complaining for example that under Egyptian law, authors and their heirs can always refuse to permit use of a composition in manners deemed to be ‘objectionable,’ regardless of whether they previously gave up all of their economic rights in connection therewith. This Court, however, already has properly determined that moral rights have no application in the United States, and cannot support Plaintiff’s copyright infringement claims.”
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