A federal judge has dismissed a case against Jay Z and Timbaland alleging copyright infringement with regards to their 1999 hit “Big Pimpin’,” putting an end to an eight-year lawsuit that involved the sampling of a decades-old Egyptian song.
The suit was brought by Osama Ahmed Fahmy, whose uncle-Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi-composed the 1957 song “Khosara Khosara,” which is sampled in “Big Pimpin’.” Fahmy argued that Jay Z and Timbaland did not have the Hamdi family’s permission to sample the song’s flute notes. Jay Z and Timbaland testified that they paid for the hook in “Big Pimpin'” in full by paying $100,000 to EMI Music Arabia for the license in 2001.
U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder tossed out the case before it went to a jury at a federal court in Los Angeles on Wednesday, ruling that the heir of an Egyptian composer lacked the right to pursue a copyright infringement claim.
Jay Z and Timbaland’s attorney, Christine Lepera, said in a statement:
“We and our clients obviously are very pleased with this decision. 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.”
However, Fahmy’s attorney Pete Ross plans to fight the ruling:
“We think it’s completely wrong, and we’ll appeal.”