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Jay Z has been embroiled in a California court battle with Osama Ahmed Fahmy since 2007, amid allegations the hit song violates the plaintiff’s rights to his uncle Baligh Hamdy’s composition, Khosara, Khosara, which was released in 1957.
The rapper has maintained the song is protected under a previous licensing agreement made by producer Timbaland, in which he handed over $100,000 to recording and publishing company EMI for the rights to Hamdy’s sample in order to clear any infringement issues.
Jay’s legal team argues that the “lump-sum buyout” implied Fahmy would give up exclusive control of all rights to Khosara, Khosara, but the plaintiff insists he has the moral rights of the author in Egyptian law, and Timbaland did not explicitly obtain consent to modify the song for his collaboration.
The two parties have failed to come to an agreement and a trial date has been set for October 13, 2015, when both Jay and Timbaland have been ordered to testify, according to court filings submitted on Monday, August 10, 2015 and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
Fahmy’s attorneys are also calling musicologist Judith Finell to the witness stand, months after she testified on behalf of the Marvin Gaye family during the headline-grabbing Blurred Lines case.
That trial resulted in the soul singer’s relatives successfully suing Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for copyright infringement, claiming their 2013 hit track was too similar to the soul legend’s 1977 hit Got To Give It Up. The Gaye kids were awarded $7.4 million in damages.
Fahmy also named Universal Music, studios Paramount Pictures and MTV and others in the case, which is one of the longest-running active lawsuits in America.