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Thu, 05.12.2005

Rosa Parks v. Outkast is Ruled

On this date in 2003, the Rosa Parks v. OutKast court case was settled.

Parks, an activist in the 1950s, and rap duo OutKast resolved a lawsuit over the use of her name on a CD released in 1998. Under the settlement, OutKast and co-defendants SONY BMG Music Entertainment, Arista Records LLC and LaFace Records will help develop educational programs to "enlighten today's youth about the significant role Rosa Parks played in making America a better place for all races." They will work with the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute to promote Parks' legacy. The settlement in the case implies no fault by the defendants.

The 1999 lawsuit alleged defamation and trademark infringement because the Grammy-winning group OutKast used Parks' name without her permission in the song title "Rosa Parks." The chorus is: "Ah-ha, hush that fuss. Everybody move to the back of the bus." Parks, now 92 is represented by her guardian Dennis Archer.  She made history in December 1955 when she was arrested triggering the 381-day Montgomery Bus Boycott by Blacks, which led to court rulings desegregating public transportation nationwide. OutKast contended the song was neither false advertising nor a violation of Parks' publicity rights and is protected by the First Amendment.


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