A federal judge has thrown out a multi-year copyright infringement case against Jay Z over the use of a sample in his hit 1999 single “Big Pimpin'”.
In 2007, the nephew of Baligh Hamdi, an Egyptian composer whose 1957 song “Khosara Khosara” is featured in “Big Pimpin’,” filed suit against Jay Z and producer Timbaland. US District Judge Christina A. Snyder previously ruled that the case could move forward to trial, but today reversed her position, saying Osama Ahmed Fahmy did not have valid claim to pursue a copyright infringement claim, according to The Associated Press.
Timbaland initially believed “Khosara Khosara” fell into the public domain, but in 2001 entered into an agreement with EMI Music Arabia, which claimed to hold the rights to the song. At the time, Jay Z and Timbaland agreed to pay $100,000 to the descendants of Hamdi.
Fahmy said, due to the importance of the sample to “Big Pimpin'”, the family was entitled to more compensation. He also argued that only the full, unaltered version of “Khosara Khosara” could be legally licensed, and under Egyptian moral rights, Jay Z needed permission to change any portion of the song.
Prior to the case being thrown out, Jay Z told the jury that he believed to have a valid license to use the song.
Below, watch the video for “Big Pimpin'”.