Singer Songwriter Tracy Chapman has been awarded $450,000 after rapper after the ‘famous for being famous’ Nicki Minaj ripped off Tracy’s ‘Baby Can I Hold You’ for her 2018 hit ‘Sorry’.
Minaj butchered the Chapman classic without permission from the songwriter but as taste isn’t a barometer for success anymore managed to earn mega-bucks from her shoddy song.
What made matters worse for Minaj is that her people reached out to Tracy’s people in 2018 and were denied use of the song. They went ahead and used it anyway.
Under a settlement reached in December 2020, Chapman will pocket $450,000 as compensation for the rip-off.
While Minaj’s ‘Sorry’ was never “officially released” it was conveniently “leaked” and played on radio.
Minaj’s legal team argued the ‘fair use’ argument in court. However, the fair use law does not cover blatant rip-off.
Chapman settled out of court for $450,000 to save going to court and it costing multiples of what she could have earned in legal fees.
In a statement Chapman acknowledged the win saying that it “affirms that artists’ rights are protected by law and should be respected by other artists.”
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