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Man Sues Nicki Minaj For Copyright Infringement On Her Single ‘Starships’

Man Sues Nicki Minaj For Copyright Infringement On Her Single 'Starships' 3


A reclusive Chicago-based musician has sued singer Nicki Minaj, claiming the  hip-hop star ripped off her smash 2012 single “Starships” from one of his  earlier songs, “Neu Chicago.”

Clive Tanaka, an electro-pop musician who  is largely unknown in the U.S., filed a copyright infringement suit against  Minaj and her collaborators Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, more than  a year after he first posted about a comparison of the songs  online.

Tanaka and his company,  Tanaka Light Industries USA, allege that Minaj copied a significant   portion of the 2011 tune “Neu Chicago” and used the beats in “Starships,” which  spent 21 consecutive weeks in the Top 10 on the Billboard charts,  according to the Chicago Tribune.

The suit also  accuses Moroccan producer RedOne, whose real name is Nadir Khayet, of  facilitating the copyright infringement. RedOne is a citizen of Sweden, Tanaka  claims in court documents, and may have been living there at the time when “Neu  Chicago” was being played a lot on the radio and being used in marketing  campaigns.

“They had a very good opportunity to hear it,” Christopher  Niro, Tanaka’s attorney, told the Tribune.

Minaj and her representatives  have yet to comment on the allegations.

Experts say copyright  infringement cases can be tricky to navigate.

“You want to reward  creativity, but you don’t want to accidentally punish people for using what are  the building blocks of an entire style of music,” Matthew Sag, a Loyola  University Chicago law professor specializing in the subject, told the Tribune.  “No one owns a genre.”

A similar case made headlines last month when singer Robin Thicke filed a preemptory lawsuit to protect his hit  “Blurred Lines” from copyright infringement claims from some of Marvin  Gaye’s relatives, who alleged that the tune sounded a lot like “Got to Give It  Up.”

Here are recordings of the two songs in  question:



By Alexandra Ward



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