Jay-Z is facing a lawsuit over his 2000 hit “Big Pimpin.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a California federal court judge ruled that a lawsuit filed against the Brooklyn spitter by the children of Egyptian composer, Baligh Homody, can proceed. The heirs of Homody claim the rapper’s use of Homody’s “Khosara, Kohsara” composition in “Big Pimpin” violated their “moral rights” as his heirs and have enough evidence to go forth with their case.
For those that aren’t up on their international law, the “moral rights” portion of Egyptian copyright law is a example of U.S. courts handling foreign law. Unlike the U.S., Egypt has two different licenses for copyrighted material: “economic rights” and “moral rights,” which must be obtained if you want to “mutilate” the source material by distorting it, or in Jay’s case, sample from it. Hov only licensed the “economic rights” to Homody’s work, which was originally the theme music for the 1957 Egyptian film Fata Ahlami. And one of Homody’s heirs has sued on the grounds that the “moral rights” were never secured.
Stay tuned as details emerge. —Nicole LoPresti