Jay-Z May Owe Royalties For Alleged Infringement on "Big Pimpin'" Single
Posted on Wed Mar 7, 2012 10:55 AM PDT

jayzparis042311_01_200.jpg LOS ANGELES, California (X17online) - Jay-Z is the target of various Egyptian songwriters who claim the rapper exploited their original hook in his chart-topping hit, "Big Pimpin'."

The tune "Khosara, Khosara" was originally written for the 1960 Egyptian film Fata Ahlami, but Jay-Z believed he had a valid agreement with the song's composer Baligh Hamdy to legally use the material.

Although previous accusers have been unsuccessful, Hamdy's nephew Osama Ahmed Fahmy might go to trial with the Brooklyn-born lyricist to win a percentage of the recent revenue from his concerts.

The Egyptians who claimed ownership of the tune were appalled at the manner in which Jay-Z remade the hit, and since Egyptian copyright law leans heavily on the concept known as "moral rights", they are given the ability to control the fate of the work.

For his part, Jay-Z argued that Fahmy was aware of "Big Pimpin'" since 2000, so the statute of limitations had run its course. Despite this claim, California judge Christina Snyder has ruled it a valid case.

"This case may be more akin to the infringing use of copyrighted songs as a part of a larger musical revue, an infringing use of a painting in a textbook, and one infringing poem contained in a poetry anthology, than the infringing use of copyrighted text or images to promote season tickets for the symphony, or the sale of a car - but that is up to a jury to decide," the judge said.

A trial date has yet to be set.