Despite the seemingly successful launch of his new music streaming service TIDAL, things aren’t looking all that bright for Jay Z. In fact, a tidal wave of problems could soon be heading his way.
According to a recent article published on The Hollywood Reporter, it looks as though Jay Z is heading to trial over whether or not he rightfully sampled the Egyptian song “Khosara, Khosara” on his 2000 hit single, “Big Pimpin.’”
Yesterday (March 30), a California federal judge was inclined to reject Osama Ahmed Fahmy’s bid for early judgment of his copyright claims against Jay Z, with his attorney now saying that taking the case to trial is the only remaining viable option.
“I think this case really has to head toward some form of resolution sooner rather than later,” federal judge Christina Snyder said.
Fahmy’s lawsuit is based on “Khosara, Khosara,” a song from the 1960 Egyptian film Fata ahlami. Jay Z and co-defendant Timbaland later turned it into the instantly recognizable “Big Pimpin’” anthem that acted as the fifth single off Jay Z’s fourth album Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter.
The publication reports that Fahmy is claiming to be the heir of the song’s composer Baligh Hamdy and is suing Hov for copyright infringement. Fahmy also named Paramount Pictures, Warner Music, UMG and MTV among the defendants.
Fahmy says that the record company that authorized Timbaland to use the “Khosara, Khosara” record, EMI Arabia, never actually had the right to license the song in the first place.
According to THR, Timbaland made a deal with EMI Arabia, which had a deal with the Egyptian record label Sout el Phan. Fahmy had licensed “Khosara Khosara” to Sout el Phan, however, he claims that EMI Arabia’s license to the song expired in 2007. In addition, he claims that while he permitted Sout el Phan to license the song to companies like EMI Arabia, the EMI affiliate couldn’t itself license the song without his direct permission.
“That’s the real problem here,” argued Fahmy’s attorney, Keith Wesley of Browne George Ross, in court Monday (March 30). “Sout el Phan said, ‘EMI Arabia, you can use it, but you can’t go out and give away rights to someone else. I don’t have authority to do that, and the copyright owner hasn’t given me rights to do that.’
“I think the only answer is to march toward trial,” Wesley later added.
“We’re hopeful that the court reexamines the tentative in light of our comments at the hearing, and otherwise we’re looking forward to trying the case in October,” he told The Hollywood Reporter following the hearing.