Jay Z asks court to keep Financial details out of copyright trial

September 2, 2015

Jay Z is trying to stop his financial details from being revealed in court.

Billboard is reporting that Jay Z and producer Timbaland have been accused of copyright infringement over a sample they used in Jay Z’s 2000 hit ‘Big Pimpin’.

Osama Fahmy, nephew of late Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi, is suing the pair for unauthorized use of his uncle’s work. The song sampled 1960 song ‘Khosara Khosara’, written by Hamdi for the film Fata Ahlami.

Here’s “Khosara Khosara”, the song in question:

And now… Jay Z’s “Big Pimpin'”:

Doesn’t sound like there’s much to debate.

The trial is scheduled to start in October and Jay Z’s attorney, Andrew Bart, has asked that any information about Jay Z’s finances is irrelevant to the case, and could potentially “bias the jury” and “artificially inflate the size of a potential damages award.”

Fahmy’s legal team insists that Jay Z’s finances are relevant to the case. “For example, compare two hypothetical infringers of a plaintiff’s copyright in a film,” they argued in their written submission.

“One is a peasant living in a remote area of Russia. The other is a billion-dollar film studio. A reasonable juror may find that, because of the peasant’s ‘financial condition,’ the limited steps he took to ensure he was not infringing were reasonable, whereas the same steps taken by the film studio were consistent with a finding of recklessness or willful blindness. The infringers’ respective ‘financial conditions’ would be highly relevant to whether they exercised due care in ensuring they were not infringing upon the plaintiff’s copyright.”

A decision will be made by US District Judge Christina Snyder on September 16. According to Forbes’ list of music’s highest-earnest of 2014, Jay Z made $60m in 2014, while Forbes speculated Jay Z’s net worth at $550m!



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