Rosa Parks Sued OutKast

Yep, that is right. Civil rights icon, Rosa Parks, sued music group OutKast in 2003 for their song “Rosa Parks.”

The US Supreme Court allowed a court ruling that reinstated Ms Parks’ claims, made in 1999, against OutKast and three Bertelsmann AG companies. Ms Parks said use of her name without permission was false advertising and infringed on her right to publicity. It defamed her character and interfered with a business relationship, she said. Ms Parks is also taking action against LaFace Records, the record producer, Arista Records and BMG Entertainment, which distributed the music.

Ms Parks said the album’s ”profanity, racial slurs and derogatory language directed at women” handicapped her future business dealings, caused emotional distress and tainted her legacy.

A federal judge dismissed her 1999 lawsuit, saying constitutional free speech rights under the First Amendment covered the use of Ms Parks’ name.

Although an appeals court upheld the dismissal of the claims of defamation and interference with a business relationship, it reinstated the rest of the case. Lawyers for OutKast and the other defendants then appealed to the Supreme Court, saying the appeals court unconstitutionally allowed public figures to use trademark and right-of-publicity laws to censor speech. But the Supreme Court rejected the appeal without comment.

Ms Parks’ 1955 arrest for failing to give up her seat triggered a 381-day bus boycott that first brought the Rev Martin Luther King Jr to national attention.



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