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Nicki Minaj disputes Tracy Chapman’s copyright infringement lawsuit in new court filing


John Shearer/Getty Images via ABCNicki Minaj has responded to Tracy Chapman‘s copyright infringement lawsuit with a filing of her own, Pitchfork confirms.

Last year, Chapman took her grievances with the Head Barb to the court after claiming that Minaj’s unreleased song “Sorry” featured an interpolation of her 1988 hit, “Baby Can I Hold You.” Chapman’s suit further alleges that the Queens-bred rapper used her song without her permission, in violation of copyright laws. 

According to Minaj, however, the song’s interpolation is protected under the doctrine of fair use. 

In court documents obtained by Pitchfork, the “Good Form” lyricist’s response includes claims that Chapman “is not the owner of the copyright in issue and therefore lacks standing” to pursue legal action against Minaj. She also argues that Chapman is not entitled to damages. 

Ahead of the release of her latest effort, Queen, Minaj vocalized her struggles in securing the sample for her album. In August, the rapper tweeted: “So there’s a record on #Queen that features 1 of the greatest rappers of all time. Had no clue it sampled the legend #TracyChapman.” 

Queen‘s release date was subsequently pushed back one week; “Sorry” did not appear on the album.

Both Chapman’s suit and Minaj’s response confirm that Minaj’s team actively sought Chapman’s permission to use an interpolation of “Baby Can I Hold You” on “Sorry.”

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