The lawsuit over “Big Pimpin'” is headed to trial eight years after it was filed, a judge ruled on Monday (March 30). Osama Ahmed, nephew of late Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi, claims Jay Z had no right to sample "Khosara, Khosara" for the hook of his 15-year-old Timbaland-produced single.
With a trial date set for October 13 in a Los Angeles County courthouse, Judge Christina Snyder will more than likely deny Ahmed’s summary judgment request, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Ahmed initially filed suit against Hov, Timbaland, Warner Music, UMG, and other defendants back in 2007. He asserts that Hov and the super producer infringed on the original copyright despite Timbaland licensing the music from EMI Arabia, who got clearance from Egyptian imprint Sout el Phan.
However, Ahmed claims EMI didn’t have permission to clear the sample. “That’s the real problem here,” said his lawyer Keith Wesley. “Sout el Phan said, ‘EMI Arabia, you can use it, but you can’t go out and give away rights to someone else.' I don’t have authority to do that, and the copyright owner hasn’t given me rights to do that.”
Ahmed previously stated that the alleged infringement was a violation of his “moral rights,” which are recognized by Egyptian law. However, the argument was adjusted in a motion filed last month. “Plaintiff contends ‘Big Pimpin’ is a derivative of, and contains protectable expression from the ‘Khosara Khosara’ composition, thus ‘Big Pimpin’ infringes,” the motion reads in part. It adds that the defendants "continue to distribute and/or perform 'Big Pimpin'' to this day without permission or compensation to plaintiff."
“Khosara, Khosara” is from the 1957 film Fata ahlami, and was composed by Hamdi, who died in 1993. Ahmed notes himself as his late uncle’s “heir” and “co-owner” of the copyright in question.
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(Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Roc Nation Sports)