Jay Z Affirms a Win in "Big Pimpin'" Sample Case

The 2015 decision still stands, according to court documents.

This is a photo of Jay Z.

Image via Getty/Steve Russell

This is a photo of Jay Z.

After a court win in 2015 over the use of a song by an Egyptian composer in his 1999 hit "Big Pimpin'," the decision to grant Jay Z the rights to use its sample has been preserved in the 9th District, VIBE reports.

Court documents filed Thursday indicate Osama Ahmed Fahmy, the nephew of composer Baligh Hamdy, tried to sue the rapper for using the 1957 song "Khosara" as the sample for his track. This was based "solely on the fact that Egyptian law recognizes an unalienable moral right of the author to object to offensive uses of a copyrighted work." The district court would go on to rule that using the song in any reproductive capacity is an "economic right" under Egyptian law, and that the country's moral code has no standing in the U.S.

It also looks like since various rights to the song have actually changed legal hands a few times before ending up at EMI among other entities, Fahmy "lacked standing to bring the copyright claims" in the first place, the documents said. "In 2002, independent of the agreements previously mentioned, Fahmy, as representative of the Hamdy heirs, including himself, signed an agreement with the owner of Alam el Phan, Mohsen Mohammed Jaber."

The agreement goes on to say Mohsen Mohammad Jaber was given rights to "print, publish, and use the music of the songs stated in this statement on all currently known audio and/or visual of videos, performances, records, cassette tapes, and cartridges." 

Previously, both Jay Z and the song's producer Timbaland testified in court during the trial's proceedings. The case was eventually dismissed, and the pair would go on to pay EMI $100,000 to gain the proper rights for the sample.

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