The cost of taking another songwriter’s work without permission and illicitly leaking a remade version is $450,000. That’s what Nicki Minaj will be paying Tracy Chapman to satisfy her copyright infringement claims over “Sorry,” a derivative of “Baby Can I Hold You.”
On Thursday, documents became public in California federal court reflecting the fact that Chapman had accepted Minaj’s offer of judgment. As a result, the two will not proceed to a trial later this year. By accepting Minaj’s offer, Chapman not only scores a win in the case and $450,000, the esteemed singer also avoids being responsible for costs had a jury eventually decided her claims weren’t worth that amount.
Chapman filed the case back in Oct. 2018. The suit came a couple months after Minaj had released her album, Queen. While “Sorry,” a collaboration with Nas, wasn’t on the album, Minaj allegedly leaked the song to Funkmaster Flex, a popular radio DJ, and the song then traveled on the internet.
In any event, both sides now agree that $450,000 is a reasonable amount for a copyright judgment on this controversy.