LOS ANGELES (CN) – A federal judge on Monday denied Live Nation’s request to throw out copyright claims related to Jay-Z’s court battle over his track “Big Pimpin’.”
In 2007, Egyptian Osama Ahmed Fahmy claimed the rap superstar did not ask for permission when he sampled the composition “Khosara, Khosara,” written by Fahmy’s uncle Baligh Hamdy, for his hit single.
Fahmy claims in court that he owns the copyright of the song, with other heirs.
With his case against Jay-Z scheduled for trial in October, Fahmy added Live Nation to the list of defendants after filing a separate copyright lawsuit in Federal Court this year.
His 11-page lawsuit claimed that Live Nation had entered into booking agreements with Jay-Z for several tours, during which the rapper performed “Big Pimpin’.”
Produced by Timbaland, “Big Pimpin'” was released as a single in 2000 and appears on Jay-Z’s fourth album “Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter.”
The February complaint claimed that Live Nation knew that “Big Pimpin'” infringed on the copyright of “Khosara, Khosara” but “nevertheless continued to sponsor, promote and facilitate Jay-Z’s performances of the infringing work.”
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder issued a tentative ruling finding that Fahmy had sufficiently alleged facts to support claims of contributory infringement and vicarious copyright infringement.
Snyder granted Live Nation’s motion to dismiss a claim of direct copyright infringement but gave Fahmy a month to amend that claim.
During morning proceedings in Snyder’s downtown courtroom, Live Nation’s attorney Alexander Kaplan urged Snyder to reconsider.
In a court memorandum supporting its motion to dismiss, Live Nation had said Fahmy had not alleged any facts to support the claim that the company had actual knowledge of any alleged infringement.
“In particular, the complaint here lacks any facts alleging how Live Nation knew or had reason to know that ‘Big Pimpin” purportedly included unauthorized, infringing portions of the ‘Khosara Khosara’ musical composition,” the April 16 court filing stated.
But Snyder said during the hearing that the motion to dismiss a claim of contributory infringement is premature.
“You may on summary judgment have a better chance of convincing me,” Snyder told the attorney.
Snyder also denied Live Nation’s motion to stay proceedings until Fahmy’s claims against Jay-Z are resolved. In her tentative ruling, she said the company could renew the motion when the court “has a more concrete sense of whether trial in the related action will proceed in October.”
Kaplan is an attorney with the New York firm Proskauer. He declined to comment after the hearing.
Browne George Ross attorney Jonathan Gottfried appeared for Fahmy.
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