Jay-Z Sanctioned as “Big Pimpin’” Copyright Trial Date Approaches

On Thursday, May 28, a federal judge in California sanctioned Jay-Z for his failure to properly comply with a discovery request in the current litigation regarding Jay Z’s sampling of the Egyptian song “Khosara, Khosara” for use in his hit single “Big Pimpin’.” Jay Z was ordered to pay plaintiff Osama Ahmed Fahmy $3,000 for the expenses and attorneys’ fees Fahmy incurred while compelling the production of an unredacted agreement between Jay Z and concert-promotion company Live Nation.

Fahmy had originally requested $15,000 in attorneys’ fees and that the judge order Jay Z to pay the court $100,000 for, in part, civil contempt. Fahmy’s requests were denied.

The litigation is in its eighth year, and its October 13, 2015 trial date is rapidly approaching. Fahmy originally sued Jay Z in 2007. Fahmy is the nephew of Baligh Hamdi, who composed “Khosara, Khosara” in the 1950s.

Fahmy filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment in February wherein he argued, in part, that the record company that licensed “Khosara, Khosara” to co-defendant Timbaland did so without the owners’ consent. Federal judge Christina Snyder determined that there were triable issues of fact, thus denying Fahmy’s motion.

With settlement negotiations also proving futile, Keith Wesley – counsel for Fahmy – opined “I think the only answer is to march toward trial.”


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