A judge had previously decided that Nicki Minaj using Tracy Chapman’s “Baby Can I Hold You” for “Sorry” was fair use of copyright.
In a report from The Hollywood Reporter, Minaj is paying Chapman $450,000 for illicitly using “Baby Can I Hold You” in her song “Sorry.” Per the Reporter:
As a result, the two will not proceed to a trial later this year. By accepting Minaj’s offer, Chapman not only scores a win in the case and $450,000, the esteemed singer also avoids being responsible for costs had a jury eventually decided her claims weren’t worth that amount.
As Pitchfork noted in a separate report, Minaj’s $450,000 offer had been tendered back in December. The rapper had previously made a win the lawsuit, when U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips decided that Minaj’s “Sorry” was fair use of copyright in September last year.
“Chapman has requested samples of proposed works before approving licensing requests herself because she wanted ‘to see how [her work] will be used’ before approving the license, yet Chapman argues against the very practice she maintains,” Phillips said in the ruling. “A ruling uprooting these common practices would limit creativity and stifle innovation within the music industry. This is contrary to Copyright Law’s primary goal of promoting the arts for the public good.”
If the suit had moved forward, a jury would’ve had to decide if Minaj allegedly giving Funkmaster Flex the track constitutes as copyright infringement.