Jay Z's Got 99 Problems but the 'Big Pimpin'" Case Ain't One
Published Oct 21, 2015The much-publicized copyright lawsuit accusing Jay Z and Timbaland of misappropriating a flute sample for the 1999 hit "Big Pimpin'" has come to a close, with a U.S. judge siding with the famed hip-hop figureheads and dismissing the case.
U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder tossed the case today (October 21), explaining that Osama Ahmed Fahmy, heir to Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi, did not have grounds to pursue a copyright infringement case.
Though Jay Z's rap track does use parts of Hamdi's 1957 song "Khosara Khosara," Timbaland had previously paid $100,000 US in 2001 to settle a claim about using the track's flute motif. Lawyers argued, thus, that the matter had already been resolved, and that there wasn't any infringing upon copyright, writes The Hollywood Reporter.
This latest trial also had both Timbaland and Jay Z testifying that they were entitled to use the sample in "Big Pimpin'."
"My client is pleased with and gratified by the decision," Jay Z's lawyer Andrew Bart said in a statement after the case had wrapped.
The trial had used various witnesses to explain to a jury the differences between U.S. and Egyptian copyright law, as well as arguments as to how "Big Pimpin'" interpolated the flute melody of "Khosara Khosara."
Fahmy's lawyer, Pete Ross, argued that Jay Z number's sex-geared lyrics were at odds with Hamdi's love ballad, but was reminded that the case was not over lyrical content. After the judge had decided to rule in Jay Z and Timbaland's favour, Ross noted: "We think it's completely wrong, and we'll appeal."