A federal judge ruled earlier this month that a lawsuit brought against Jay-Z by an Egyptian man over his hit single Big Pimpin’ needs to go to trial to settle certain issues.
Osama Ahmed Fahmy initially filed the copyright infringement complaint against the music mogul back in 2007 claiming that Big Pimpin’ sampled his uncle’s song Khosara, Khosara, to which he, his uncle, and three of his siblings, hold the copyright. But earlier this year, Jay-Z filed a successful motion to have the Copyright Act’s statute of limitations limit the amount of potential damages because Fahmy knew about the infringement prior to 2000, but waited to file. The ruling means that Fahmy can only recoup infringements that occurred after August 31, 2004, three years before he filed the suit.
They will head back to court to ascertain whether or not Jay’s actually directly profited from use of Big Pimpin’ during live performances.
“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.”
- By Kim Taylor