CALIFORNIA (CelebrityAccess) – Last year, Tracy Chapman sued Nicki Minaj for copyright infringement, claiming that Nicki’s unreleased track “Sorry”—which interpolates Chapman’s 1988 track “Baby Can I Hold You”—used her music without permission. Minaj has now filed her first formal response to the lawsuit, according to The Blast.
In new court documents, filed in a California federal court on February 22, Minaj reportedly denies copyright infringement stating that while she admits she recorded a musical interpolation that incorporated music and lyrics from the Composition in question, her interpolation is protected by the doctrine of fair use.
Minaj is also arguing that Chapman is not entitled to damages due to the fact that she “has not properly registered her claim to the copyright in the Composition [“Baby Can I Hold You”],” and further “is not the owner of the copyright in issue and therefore lacks standing to bring the claims alleged in the Complaint.”
While Minaj concedes that she and her team made “several requests for permission” to license the song from Chapman’s self-titled debut, those requests were denied.
Chapman originally filed suit back in summer of 2018 after an unreleased version of Minaj’s “Sorry” was leaked to New York DJ Funkmaster Flex and premiered on Hot 97.