(CelebrityAccess) — Tracy Chapman announced a legal victory over rapper Nicki Minaj and her use of samples of Chapman’s music in the leaked track “Sorry.”
Chapman accused Minaj in 2018 of using samples from her 1988 hit “Baby Can I Hold You” without obtaining permission.
According to a statement from Chapman’s reps, she accepted Rule 68 Offer of Judgment that included an award of $450,000.
“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. I was asked in this situation numerous times for permission to use my song; in each instance, politely and in a timely manner, I unequivocally said no. Apparently, Ms. Minaj chose not to hear and used my composition despite my clear and express intentions,” Chapman said in a statement provided to CelebrityAccess.
“As a songwriter and an independent publisher, I have been known to be protective of my work. I have never authorized the use of my songs for samples or requested a sample. This lawsuit was a last resort—pursued in an effort to defend myself and my work and to seek protection for the creative enterprise and expression of songwriters and independent publishers like myself,” Chapman added.
Minaj never formally released “Sorry” but instead provided it to popular New York DJ Funkmaster Flex, who played it on his Hot 97 radio show.
In September, a federal judge ruled in a summary judgement that the use of the sample in the song constituted fair use to enable music experimentation, noting that a ruling against the use of such sampling would “limit creativity and stifle innovation within the music industry.”
Edit: This article was updated to correct details regarding the court ruling.