Jay-Z Faces Lawsuit From Egyptians Over ‘Big Pimpin’

News

Vibe / March 7, 2012

Jay-Z has been battling potential lawsuits for his chart-topping 2000 hit “Big Pimpin’,” to which various Egyptians have claimed to have copyrights.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Egyptians are arguing that Jay should have gotten the proper permission before releasing the track which samples the Egyptian musical composition “Khosara, Khosara.”

Ahab Joseph Nafal,  who is experiencing difficulty demonstrating sole licensing rights over the song, has been unsuccessful in his pursuits of a lawsuit. However, Osama Ahmed Fahmy, nephew of the Egyptian composer who originally wrote the composition for the 1960 film Fata Ahlami, has been more successful.

Though Jay-Z filed motions arguing that having known about the song since 2000, Fahmy has exceeded the statute of limitations on the case, Fahmy also filed motions of his own. He argued that because he spoke very little English, he was misled by EMI’s attorneys. The judge sided with Jay-Z, however, which would limit Fahmy to only receiving revenue from three years before the lawsuit was officially filed in 2007 to now.

Because the decade-old song has likely already received the bulk of its sales, in Fahmy’s motion for partial summary judgment, he is also arguing that if he wins the case Hov should pay him a portion of his concert proceeds. This, he argues, would be because the track “Big Pimpin” is still being performed at concerts and generating revenue. The presiding judge has ruled that the issue of whether or not the song is directly or indirectly generating profits for concerts is triable.

As a result, an upcoming trial may decide whether Jay-Z will have to pay Fahmy a percentage of his recent concert revenues. Currently, a trial date has not been set. — Jazmine Gray