Appeals Court Lets Rosa Parks Challenge OutKast

Reuters reports a federal appeals court on Monday revived a lawsuit by civil rights icon Rosa Parks against the rap group OutKast over a song that uses her name for its title.
A federal judge in Detroit had dismissed Parks’ lawsuit in 1999 over the song ‘Rosa Parks,’ saying OutKast’s use of her name was protected by free speech, and the group did not need to compensate her. But a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that while OutKast’s free speech defense was valid, so was Parks’ claim that using her name could suggest the song was about her or that she was connected to the group. The panel said OutKast needed to show some artistic reason for calling the song “Rosa Parks,” and ordered the district court to conduct a hearing and rule on the issue.

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