In a decision Tuesday (May 3), a California federal judge ruled that the plaintiff has established “standing” to pursue a lawsuit against Jay-Z over his perceived violation of the “moral rights” of the copyright holders of an Egyptian song, ‘Khosara, Khosara,’ due to a complicated Egyptian copyright law.
Although Jay and Universal Music Group sought to clear the necessary rights to the song, which was originally recorded for the 1957 Egyptian film ‘Fata Ahlami,’ they are now being sued by a descendant of the composer, Baligh Hamdy, who died in 1993.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Hamdy’s son, Osama Ahmed Fahmy names Jay-Z, EMI Publishing, MTV Networks, Paramount Pictures, UMG Recordings, Warner Music and others in the lawsuit and is suing for failing to secure the “moral rights” to his father’s song.
Apparently, Egyptian law differentiates between the “economic rights” to reproduce, perform or distribute elements of his father’s song “without alteration,” and the “moral rights” of copyrighted works, necessary in this instance, where the work has been “mutilated” by Jay-Z’s sampling, looping and rapping on top.
Jay-Z and ‘Big Pimpin” producer Timbaland were initially sued by Fahmy in 2005, but the case was dismissed in 2007, due to the plaintiffs’ failure to join all individuals with rights to the composition in the suit.
‘Big Pimpin” was the fourth single on Jay’s 1999 multi-platinum album ‘Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter.’