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A US judge dismisses a copyright case against Jay Z over Big Pimpin’ track

Written by on 25th October 2015

A judge in the US has dismissed a copyright case against Jay Z and Timbaland over his track Big Pimpin’.

The rapper was accused of not getting permission to use a flute sample from a track written by an Egyptian composer called Baligh Hamdi in 1957.

His nephew and heir, Osama Ahmed Fahmy, claimed they didn’t ask to combine his uncle’s song with the “vulgar” lyrics of Big Pimpin’, released in 1999.

Timbaland testified that in 2011 he paid $100,000 (£65,000) to EMI Arabia.

The music company said they owned the rights to the song Khosara Khosara, which Timabland and Jay Z sampled.

Both Jay Z and Timbaland, whose real name is Timothy Mosley, said they believed they had a valid licence to sample the flute notes.

Mr Fahmy said this deal was irrelevant and consent to change the track should have been requested.

But Los Angeles district judge Christina Snyder dismissed the lawsuit before it went to a jury.

The flute is used throughout Big Pimpin’, an anthem to a promiscuous lifestyle that became the first major hit single for Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter.

“My client is pleased and gratified by the decision,” Jay Z’s lawyer Andrew Bart said.

The lawyer for Mr Fahmy, Keith Wesley, said: “We strongly disagree with the ruling and we fully intend to appeal.”

The case has taken years to get to court, with Hamdi’s nephew, Osama Ahmed Fahmy, first filing a legal complaint in 2007.

It is the second high-profile musical copyright case, after a federal jury ruled earlier this year that Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams plagiarised Marvin Gaye in their hit Blurred Lines.

A leading forensic musicologist said the music industry is “paranoid” about music copyright cases since the Blurred Lines trial.

(Source: BBC News)