JAY-Z’s court win against Baligh Hamdy’s nephew over the use of the Egyptian composer’s song for his 2000 hit “Big Pimpin” is preserved in the 9th District.
According to court documents, Hamdy’s nephew Osama Ahmed Fahey attempted to sue the rapper 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.” After consideration of the law in question, the district court concluded that the reproduction of Hamdy’s song “Khosara” is an economic right under the Egyptian law, and Egyptian moral code is not valid in the United States.
“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 documents read. In the agreement, Fahmy assigned Mohsen Mohammad Jaber the right to “print, publish and use the music of the songs stated in this statement [including “Khosara”] on all currently known audio and/or visual of videos, performances, records, cassette tapes, and cartridges…”
In 2015, JAY-Z and Timbaland testified in court over the sampling dispute, and they reportedly paid EMI $100,000 to settle and gain rights to use the sample. The dispute over the 1999 sample has been one of the longest lawsuits and battles in entertainment history.