According to Variety, U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips found that Nicki did not commit copyright infringement and that the song falls in line with the “fair use” principle. In her ruling, Phillips wrote, “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. A ruling uprooting these common practices would limit creativity and stifle innovation within the music industry.
Prior to the ruling, Nicki claimed that the lawsuit was not justifiable as she did not release “Sorry” for profit and had no control in the song being leaked online. According to court documents, she also claimed that Chapman “is not the owner of the copyright in issue and therefore lacks standing to bring the claims alleged in the Complaint.”