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| | Copyright & Fair Use

Nicki Minaj and Tracy Chapman settled their two-year-long copyright infringement lawsuit.

Tracy Chapman and Nicki Minaj have settled their two-year-long copyright infringement lawsuit. Minaj has agreed to pay Chapman $450,000 for her unauthorized use of Chapman’s 1988 song “Baby Can I Hold You” in Minaj’s unreleased track called “Sorry.” Minaj’s team contacted Chapman multiple times for permission to sample the song—or in other words, using a small portion of one song in another song—but Chapman repeatedly refused to grant Minaj such permission. Minaj did not include “Sorry” on her 2018 album due to Chapman’s refusals, but the song was leaked to a New York City DJ who played “Sorry” on the radio and posted it on social media. Although United States District Court Judge Virginia Phillips ruled that Minaj’s use of “Baby Can I Hold You” was simply fair use and did not amount to copyright infringement, the parties still settled for $450,000.