Copyright Law

Standing issue gives Jay Z win in infringement suit over 'Big Pimpin''

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Jay Z

Image of Jay Z from s_bukley /

A federal judge has ended an infringement trial against Jay Z over his song ‘Big Pimpin’’ with a ruling that the Egyptian plaintiff did not have standing to bring the claim on behalf of his late uncle.

U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder of Los Angeles ruled for Jay Z and his producer on Wednesday after hearing testimony from experts on Egyptian law. The New York Times, the Associated Press and Courthouse News Service have stories.

Jay Z had used flute notes from a song by Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi after paying $100,000 to EMI, which controlled licensing for the song outside of Egypt. Hamdi’s nephew had contended that, because Jay Z had altered the song, he violated Hamdi’s moral rights.

Snyder said in a bench ruling that Hamdi’s nephew could not assert moral rights to the song outside of Egypt, the stories report. She also cited standing issues, according to the Times.

Lawyers for the defendants had filed a memorandum in support of a motion for judgment on Oct. 20. The defendants said the plaintiff lacked standing because he assigned his exclusive economic rights in 2002. They also argued that moral rights merely give an author or his heirs the right to ask an Egyptian court for an injunction that applied in that country.

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