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Nicki Minaj Scores Big Win For Hip Hop in Copy Infringement Case


Hip Hop Hooray

 



Yesterday, Nicki Minaj scored a big win, not only for herself but for Hip Hop when a judge ruled she did not commit copyright infringement when she sampled Tracy Chapman's "Baby Can I Hold You" for her Nas collab "Sorry."


Per Variety:

The ruling protects the industry practice of developing a new song based on existing material and then seeking a license from the original artist prior to release. U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips ruled that Minaj’s experimentation with Chapman’s song constitutes “fair use” and is not copyright infringement.


“Artists usually experiment with works before seeking licenses from rights holders and rights holders typically ask to see a proposed work before approving a license,” the judge wrote. “A ruling uprooting these common practices would limit creativity and stifle innovation within the music industry.”







This lawsuit stems from a 2017 collab between Nicki Minaj and rap legend Nas called "Sorry." At the time, Nicki Minaj believed the track had sampled a song by Shelly Thunder but later found out it was, in fact, from Champman's "Baby Can I Hold You." Minaj attempted to get the sample cleared for the song to be included on her 2018 album "Queen." However, Chapman, who is on the no sample list, refused to clear the track. This resulted in the song not appearing on Minaj's "Queen" album. However, DJ Funk Flex did end up playing it on his show, which sparked this lawsuit. Chapman is accusing Nicki Minaj of giving the track to DJ Funk Flex, however, both deny the allegation. Interestingly, Nas is not being sued, considering he is on the song, and he is the one who brought the idea to Minaj.


While Nicki Minaj may have won the battle, the war still goes on. Nicki Minaj's win was for the culture, now she has to continue to fight for herself (some things never change). Chapman's lawyer, John Gatti, put out a statement expressing their disappointment with yesterday's ruling, but feel they will prevail once a jury hears their case alleging Nicki Minaj sent DJ Funk Flex the song to play on air.



via Variety
 

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5 Comments


This shit is personal and a money grab. Sue everyone involved from Nicki to Flex to Nas. Your absolutely right why isn’t Nas involved and his ass is actually on the song. I can’t respect that.

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Fck Yaya
Fck Yaya
Sep 18, 2020

@Bri, that is my point in suing more than Nicki, so that all is required to give statements under oath. By her only picking Nicki, it looks personal.

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Bri
Bri
Sep 18, 2020

@Yaya, both Nicki and Funk Flex say she isn't the one who sent the track to him. If that's the case, whoever that person is needs to be named.

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Fck Yaya
Fck Yaya
Sep 18, 2020

@Bri, the issue is ownership. As an owner, you have every right to control how your work is used. Tracy did not want her music used in a certain way, so she has the right to control that. She feels Nicki Minaj did not respect that by allegedly giving he track to Funk Flex to play. If Nicki did do that, then I agree Nicki is totally wrong.


My issue is why isn't Nas included in this lawsuit. If she is really interested in protecting her work, why not sue all that could have possibly leaked the song, not just one person.

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Bri
Bri
Sep 18, 2020

I'm starting to feel like this is a money grab. I mean, Nicki hasn't made a penny off the track, so what really is the issue here?

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