A federal judge on 21 October threw out a copyright-infringement lawsuit that accused rapper Jay Z and hip-hop producer Timbaland of using an Egyptian musician's melody without permission in their hit song Big Pimpin'. US District Court Judge Christina A Snyder threw out the case after ruling that the rights to late musician Baligh Hamdy's 1957 song Khosara, Khosara were appropriately acquired by Jay Z's record label.
Snyder's decision came after three days of trial testimony. Hamdy's nephew Osama Ahmed Fahmy had filed a complaint in 2007, alleging that Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, and his team had used his uncle's song without permission.
Jay Z testified at the trial last week, telling the eight-member jury that acquiring rights to songs was not his responsibility. Hip-hop producer Tim 'Timbaland' Mosley said he believed Hamdy's track was license-free, but once he learned of the complaint, he paid $100,000 (£64,600, €88,350) to EMI Music Arabia to acquire the rights. Hamdy's melody is sampled in the chorus of Jay Z's 1999 hit Big Pimpin'.
Christine Lepera of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP, counsel for Timbaland and Roc-A-Fella Records said she was pleased with the decision.
"We and our clients obviously are very pleased with this decision. The court correctly ruled that the Plaintiff had no right to bring this case and cannot pursue any claim of infringement in connection with Big Pimpin' whatsoever. Defendants have maintained throughout that Mr. Fahmy has no right to sue for infringement in connection with Big Pimpin' and that fact has now been established."