Saturday, January 9, 2021

Nicki Minaj To Pay Tracy Chapman $450K In Copyright Settlement

Nicki Minaj, Tracy Chapman

Nicki Minaj and Tracy Chapman have reached a settlement in the copyright dispute that accused Minaj of sampling Chapman's 1988 song "Baby Can I Hold You" in the rapper's leaked track "Sorry."

USAToday reports Chapman and her team accepted a $450,000 offer Thursday, which Minaj and her team finalized on Dec. 17, according to public court documents filed in a California federal court. This sum includes of all costs and attorney fees related to the case, and the dispute will not proceed to a trial.

Despite Judge Virginia Phillips' ruling last September that Minaj did not commit copyright infringement when writing and recording "Sorry," the settlement reflects a victory for Chapman in the suit.

Chapman first filed a copyright infringement lawsuit on Oct. 22, 2018, claiming that Minaj's leaked track "Sorry" incorporated lyrics and vocal melody from "Baby Can I Hold You." 

"Sorry" was not included on Minaj's 2018 album "Queen" but Chapman alleged that the rapper gave it to a popular New York DJ DJ Flexx who played parts of the song on WQHT's The Breakfast Club and posted it to his social media accounts.

Phillips concluded in her summary judgment that Minaj had fair use to enable musical experimentation, stating that "a ruling uprooting these common practices would limit creativity and stifle innovation within the music industry."

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