Tracy Chapman was awarded $ 450,000 in copyright lawsuit against Nicki Minaj

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From a file obtained by E! News, Tracy Chapman accepted Nicki Minaj’s offer of $ 450,000 in her copyright infringement case.

Nicki Minaj and Tracy Chapman are ready to drop this legal battle.

According to documents filed with the California court on Jan. 7 and obtained by E! News, the 56-year-old songwriter accepted the 38-year-old rapper’s trial offer in his copyright infringement case. On December 17th, Minaj offered to pay Chapman $ 450,000, and the “Fast Car” artist accepted the deal on December 30th. As a result, the two will no longer go to the trial they had planned for later this year.

“The sentence will be pronounced in favor of the plaintiff Tracy Chapman and against the defendant for an amount of $ 450,000,” said the December 17 trial, specifying that this sum “included all costs and legal fees incurred to date. “.

Tracy Chapman was awarded $ 450,000 in copyright lawsuit against Nicki Minaj
Tracy Chapman was awarded $ 450,000 in copyright lawsuit against Nicki Minaj

In a statement to E! News, Chapman responded to the closed case. “I am happy that this problem is resolved and grateful for this legal result which says that the rights of artists are protected by law and must be respected by other artists,” she told the news agency via his publicist Howard Bragman. “In this situation, I have been asked repeatedly for permission to use my music; in each case, politely and in a timely manner, I said unequivocally no. Apparently, Ms. Minaj chose not to listen to and use my composition, despite my clarity and my expressive intentions. ”

Chapman said she “is known to protect” her work and claimed that she “never allowed” her songs to be used for samples or requested a sample. She then added that the lawsuit against Minaj was an effort to defend herself and her work and to protect “the creative enterprise and expression of independent composers and publishers like me”.

As fans may recall, the case was initially filed in October 2018, just months after the release of her fourth studio album Queen. In the days leading up to the August 2018 release, the Grammy nominee suggested 10 times that there was a problem with one of the songs.

“So there’s a record on #Queen that features one of the greatest rappers of all time,” she wrote, for Variety, in a series of deleted tweets. “I had no idea there was a sample of the # TracyChapman caption – do I keep my date and lose the record?” Or do I lose the record and keep my date? Tracy Chapman, please, you can hit me. Omg, for the love of #Queen. ”

This song was “Sorry”, with Nas, and a sample from “Baby Can I Hold You?” Chapman’s. Despite a public appeal to Chapman, Minaj reportedly tweeted later, “Sis said no.”

Although “Sorry” was never on the album, fans got to hear it. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the song allegedly leaked to DJ Funkmaster Flex and spread online. Chapman sued Minaj for copyright infringement, claiming damages and preventing the use of “Sorry”.

According to Rolling Stone, citing the complaint, Chapman claimed that his representatives “repeatedly refused” Minaj’s multiple “subsequent” requests to use the lineup, “which the” Super Bass “star’s team have allegedly started. to be sent in June. 2018.

“Tracy Chapman protects her rights [sic] a lot and has the right to deny a license on request,” Chapman’s attorney, Lee Phillips, told the vehicle. “There is no doubt that this is a violation. If you ask what Nicki Minaj’s defense will be, we have no idea.”

Minaj responded to the lawsuit in February 2019. According to Rolling Stone, citing the response, Minaj argued that the tween was protected by fair use. She claimed Chapman “did not properly register his copyright claim to the composition ‘Baby Can I Hold You’].” According to the agency, she claimed that Chapman does not own the “copyright in question and therefore has no legitimacy to make the allegations alleged in the complaint.”

In terms of creating “Sorry,” Minaj’s team defended.

“[N] the process of creation, no one approaches the original composer (the ‘rights holder’) for an experimentation license,” Minaj’s petition said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. just experiments. If something works and the artist wants to release the music for commercial use, the record company, entrepreneurs and lawyers get involved and ask for the necessary permission. If granted, the recording will be marketed. The authorization is refused, the registration is discarded; No one is hurt; and the experiment begins again. ”

“Recorders need this freedom to experiment and rights holders also appreciate the protocol,” the briefing continued, according to the vehicle. “A lot of times the rights holder doesn’t just want to approve a use in the abstract – that is, ‘any hip-hop version of their music’. The rights holder wants to hear the real version before giving permission. The complainant here, Tracy Chapman, wants to reverse this process. ”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Judge Virginia Phillips ruled in September 2020 that the creation of “Sorry” was the subject of fair use of copyright.

Chapman requested samples of proposed work before approving license applications because she wanted to “see how [her work] will be used” before approving the license, but Chapman is arguing against her own practice, “wrote the judge. “A decision that uproots these common practices would limit creativity and stifle innovation in the music industry. This is contrary to the primary purpose of copyright law to promote the arts for the public good. ”

Despite this, the case was closed, especially with regard to the alleged leak. However, it appears that both parties have agreed that $ 450,000 is sufficient for a trial offer.

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