U.S. News | Tracy Chapman Settle Copyright Infringement Lawsuit with Nicki Minaj for $450K

Image Credit: © Claudia Paulussen | Dreamstime.com

Tracy Chapman and Nicki Minaj have settled their two-year-long copyright infringement lawsuit for $450,000 offered by Nicki Minaj as the case had dragged for too long.

It will be recalled that Tracy Chapman filed a lawsuit in the California Central District Court against the rapper and singer Minaj, whose real name is Onika Tanya Maraj in October 2018 for allegedly sampling Chapman’s 1988 song “Baby Can I Hold You.”

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff alleges that Maraj used the song lyrics and vocal melody in an unreleased track called “Sorry” without permission or authorization.

The plaintiff reportedly said that the defendant’s team contacted Chapman multiple times for permission to sample the song and include “Sorry” on her 2018 album “Queen” and the Grammy-winning singer refused.

Chapman alleged that Maraj leaked the song to Funkmaster Flex, a New York City DJ, who played “Sorry” on the radio and posted it on social media.

The plaintiff reportedly said that the defendant infringed on its intellectual property and had caused lots of damages, confusion, and false designation of origin.

As the court case dragged for two years since 2018, the “Super Bass” rapper offered Chapman a $450,000 judgment offer which Chapman accepted.

“I am glad to have this matter resolved and grateful for this legal outcome which affirms that artists’ rights are protected by law and should be respected by other artists,” Chapman reportedly said in a statement via her publicist, Howard Bragman.

The case is now closed.

Tracy Chapman v. Onika Tanya Maraj et al

Judge: Virginia A Phillips
Court: California Central District Court
Case #: 2:18-cv-09088
Nature of Suit: Copyright 
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Case Filed: Oct 22, 2018
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About Nathaniel Adebayo 623 Articles
Nathaniel is a News Reporting Intern at Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch (NLIPW). He has a passion for writing, capacity building and social media marketing. He is a graduate of Federal University of Technology, Minna, where he graduated with BTECHAGRIC. He is a member of Soil Science Society of Nigeria (SSSN) and the National Union of Campus Journalist (NUCJ). Nathaniel has served as Editor-in-Chief for a number of magazines and as a contributor to various online repositories. Email: anathaniel@nlipw.com

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