Jay-Z Must Produce Concert Revenue Data: Rapper's Bid to Revisit Ruling Denied

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By Anandashankar Mazumdar

Jan. 16 — Recording artist Jay-Z must abide by a magistrate judge's order to produce evidence of his earnings from concerts at which he performed the song “Big Pimpin',” which has been the subject of an ongoing infringement claim by the estate of an Egyptian composer, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ruled Jan. 12.

The court rejected Jay-Z's motion to review the magistrate judge's ruling and his argument that the concert revenue figures should not be disclosed because there was no way the estate could identify how much of the revenue was due to the performance of “Big Pimpin',” as opposed to other songs performed during the same concerts.

The dispute goes back to a claim by the estate of Baligh Abdel Hamid Hamdi Orsi p/k/a Baligh Hamdi (1932-1993) that a 1999 recording of “Big Pimpin'” by Shawn Corey Carter p/k/a Jay-Z infringed a 1950s composition, “Khosara Khosara.”

In 2013, Judge Christina A. Snyder found that the estate had waited too long under the doctrine of laches to seek damages for any alleged infringement occurring after 2000.

In the instant order, the court responded to a discovery dispute in which the estate sought to determine the amount of revenue earned by Jay-Z during the period in which laches did not bar recovery.

Jay-Z argued that the estate should have to show a causal nexus between the alleged infringement and his profits from live performances when “Big Pimpin'” was not the only song that was performed.

The court said that the estate had sufficiently demonstrated that its discovery request was “reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence” and rejected the motion.

The estate was represented by Browne George Ross LLP, Los Angeles. Jay-Z was represented by Caldwell Leslie & Proctor P.C., Los Angeles.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anandashankar Mazumdar in Washington at amazumdar@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom P. Taylor at ttaylor@bna.com

Full text at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/Fahmy_v_JayZ_No_207cv05715CASPJWx_2015_BL_8688_CD_Cal_Jan_12_2015