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First off today, Austin Siegemund-Broka at Billboard reports that rapper Jay Z may be facing a trial over allegations that he illegally sampled an Egyptian song in his hit Big Pimpin.
The long-running case centers around Egyptian songwriter Osama Ahmed Fahmy, who penned the song Khosara, Khosara in 1960. He accuses Jay Z and co-defendant Timbaland of taking the song and using it in Big Pimpin. According to Fahmy, the record label that signed over the rights to the song to the duo never had permission, making the sample an infringement.
Fahmy recently won the right to sue over violation of his moral rights, which are non-commercial rights to attribution not usually honored in the U.S. Now Fahmy recently filed for a summary judgment but was denied, with the judge instead setting an October trial date to hear about the contractual issues involved in the case and whether the song is an infringement.
Next up today, Eriq Garnder at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that Google has secured another victory against the Mississippi Attorney General, Jim Hood, over alleged abuses of his subpoena power against the service.
According to Google, Hood sought an overly broad subpoena, requesting excessive amounts of information from the service in response to an investigation of allegations the search giant was enabling prostitution. However, the investigation drew controversy when, following the Sony Pictures hack, it was revealed that the movie studios had launched a plan to use State Attorneys General to crack down on Google over what they saw was support of piracy.
The judge in the dispute had previously issued a temporary injunction barring Hood from filing subpoenas but now the judge has made the injunction more permanent saying not only that the subpoena was overly broad, but a likely violation of Google’s first amendment rights.
Finally today, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Tidal, the streaming music service recently purchased by rapper Jay Z, has relaunched and musicians of all stripes turned out to support it, many by turning their profile pictures turquoise for the occasion.
Tidal is a streaming music service that specializes in high-fidelity audio. That higher quality comes at an elevated price, $19.99 per month compared to Spotify’s $9.99. Tidal does offer a $9.99 low-fidelity tier as well. The service has been around for several years but has struggled to find traction though many were hopeful that Jay Z’s recent purchase of it for $56 million would be a boost to it.
Spotify, by comparison, has been very controversial with artists with many, most notably Taylor Swift, decrying the service. Swift pulled all of her albums off of Spotify but is allowing Tidal users to stream everything other than her absolute latest, 1984.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.