Nicki Minaj Favoured By The U.S. District Judge In Tracy Chapman Copyright Dispute

Minaj’s attorneys argued that artists need to be free to create something based on existing material without worrying that they could be sued for it.

Nicki Minaj Favoured By The U.S. District Judge In Tracy Chapman Copyright Dispute

Nicki Minaj Favoured By The U.S. District Judge In Tracy Chapman Copyright Dispute (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Now Nicki Minaj has not one but two reasons to celebrates. For the unversed, fans are speculating that the singer has welcomed her first child after her mother commented on her recent picture. Now, as per latest reports, on Wednesday a judge ruled that Nicki Minaj did not commit copyright infringement when she created a song based on Tracy Chapman’s ‘Baby Can I Hold You.’

The ruling protects the practice of developing new songs based on existing material and then seeking a license from the original artist before release. As per the lawsuit filed, it claimed that Nicki had committed copyright infringement when she experimented with Tracy‘s song for her track, ‘Sorry.’ The song was then dropped from Minaj’s 2018 album, Queen.

Now, as per a report in Variety, U.S. district judge Virginia A. Phillips said that Nicki was within the realms of ‘fair use.’ As per the ruling, it was not a copyright infringement. The judge wrote, “Artists usually experiment with works before seeking licenses from rights holders and rights holders typically ask to see a proposed work before approving a license. A ruling uprooting these common practices would limit creativity and stifle innovation within the music industry.”

Nicki Minaj Pays Tracy Chapman $450,000 in Copyright Dispute - The New York  Times

Minaj’s attorneys argued that artists need to be free to create something based on existing material without worrying that they could be sued for it. Said the attorneys, “Such free-flowing creativity is important to all recording artists, but particularly in hip hop. With that category of music, a recording artist typically goes into the studio and experiments with dozens of different ‘beats’ or snippets of melodies, before hitting upon a pleasing combination.”

Making its way to the world in 2017, the song was co-created by Nicki Minaj and recording artist Nasir Bin Olu. As per reports, Nicki (at that time) believed Sorry was a remake of a song created by Shelly Thunder. She was surprised to learn later that most lyrics and some of the melody was in fact from Tracy Chapman’s ‘Baby Can I Hold You.’ This track released in 1988.

Reportedly, Nicki’’s representatives reached out to Tracy for permission, but Chapman refused. According to her suit, she has a blanket policy against granting such permission. However, a copy of the unreleased track was played on-air by DJ Flex, a New York radio DJ. Chapman accused Minaj of providing the DJ with the song. Portions of the song was also aired on ‘The Breakfast Club.’

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