Jay Z’s long running legal battle
over a sample used in his 1999 hit Big Pimpin
was brought to an end Wednesday by a US District Judge.
Osama Fahmy, nephew of deceased Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi, filed the suit in 2007 claiming that flute samples from the 1957 song Khosara Khosara were used in the rapper’s hit without permission. The family also claimed that the sampling violated the composer’s moral rights under Egyptian law since the song features “vulgar” and “risqué” lyrics at odds with the composer’s original intention.
After hearing descriptions of copyright laws in the U.S. and Egypt, judge Christina Snyder ruled that Egyptian law had no bearing on the case. The judge deemed that it was not necessary for the case to go to a jury since “Fahmy lacked standing to pursue his claim."
Timbaland and Jay Z testified that $100,000 were paid to EMI Music Arabia in 2001 to settle a dispute about the use of Hamdi’s song. The duo claimed to have written the song’s hook believing they had rights to use the sample.