Nicki Minaj has come out on top on her legal battle against Tracy Chapman.
Tracy Chapman accused Nicki of committing copyright infringement which now the judge has ruled that she hasn’t. The infringement was on a song Nicki made based on an interpolation of Tracy Chapman’s song ‘Baby Can I Hold You.’ This wasn’t the first time Chapman sued Nicki. Chapman sued Nick for interpolating her song in an unreleased Nas collaboration ‘Sorry’ without her approval. This happed in 2018.
Nicki denied all allegations stating that the interpolation is protected by the fair use doctrine. She added that Chapman has in fact “not properly registered her claim to the copyright in the Composition [‘Baby Can I Hold You’].” Nicki added that Chapman did not own the “copyright in issue and therefore lacks standing to bring the claims alleged in the Complaint” therefore not entitled to damages. The song can be found online even though it has not been officially released. Back in August 2018 Funk Flex premiered the song.
The judge assigned to this case, judge Virginia A. Phillips ruled that in fact Nicki’s use of the song goes under “fair use” and will not be subjected to any copyright infringement. The judge also added that “A ruling uprooting these common practices would limit creativity and stifle innovation within the music industry.”
The legal fight shall continue over Nick’s alleged infringement on Chapman’s song ‘Sorry’ being played over the radio. Nicki has denied all accusations of the song that was played over the radio being sourced from her.