Jay-Z & Timbaland Headed To Court For "Big Pimpin'" Copyright Lawsuit

posted December 15, 2011 11:00:00 AM CST | 29 comments

Jay-Z & Timbaland Headed To Court For "Big Pimpin'" Copyright Lawsuit

UPDATE: A judge will determine whether Jay-Z profited from performing the song live.

The children of Bollywood composer, Baligh Hamdy are likely to file a lawsuit against Jay-Z and/or Timbaland for sampling “Khosara, Khosara,” in the 2000 hit “Big Pimin’.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, one of the Hamdy children—Osama Ahmed Fahmy—is already the plaintiff in a case against Shawn Carter, EMI Publishing, MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures, UMG Recordings, Warner Music and many others.

The Hamdy children licensed the rights to mechanically reproduce “Khosara, Khosara,” in 1995. Representatives from Jay-Z and Timbaland’s camp believe they secured the proper license to sample the song for their UGK collaboration. However, according to Tuesday’s ruling, they obtained “economic rights,” which allow for reproduction, performance and distribution of the song. The plaintiffs argue that sampling, looping and rhyming over the sample would have required the express permission of each of Hamdy's four children.

A similarly odd interpretation of obscure, international copyright law, prevented Timbaland from getting sued for his use of a different Bollywood sample he used in Game’s 2005 single “Put You In The Game.”

[May 5]

UPDATE: According to Yo Raps, a federal judge ruled earlier this month that the copyright case against Jay-Z and Timbaland will go to trial. The judge will determine whether or not Hov profited from performing "Big Pimpin'" during his live shows.

“There is no record evidence that Jay-Z used 'Big Pimpin’' in his advertisements for a particular concert or concert series, or that 'Big Pimpin’' was performed at every concert,” wrote US District Judge Christina Snyder in her December 9th ruling. 

“It is a question of fact whether Jay-Z’s concert revenues should be considered direct or indirect…it is up to a jury to decide,” she added. “Accordingly, the court finds that there is a triable issue whether Jay-Z’s concert revenues constitute direct profits from his infringing live performances 'Big Pimpin’' for purposes of the Copyright Act.”

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