Outkast, Sony BMG, Rosa Parks Settle Lawsuit

OutKast and Rosa Parks

have finally settled a longstanding lawsuit stemming from Park’s objection to

the rap duo using her name in a song title.

While OutKast, Sony BMG

Music Entertainment and two of the company’s units admitted no unlawful activity,

the parties have agreed to work on projects "to enlighten today’s youth

about the significant role Rosa Parks played in making America a better place

for all races," said Parks’ guardian Dennis Archer in a statement.

Under the settlement, OutKast

and the other defendants arranged to develop educational programs about Parks’

life and legacy with the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development.

The programs will be distributed

through DVD to public schools nationwide. OutKast will also appear on a tribute

CD produced by Sony BMG.

"We think it will go

a long way towards teaching a new generation about Rosa Parks and her accomplishments,"

Sony BMG attorney Joe Beck told the Associated Press. "We appreciate Mrs.

Parks’ and her attorneys’ acknowledgment of the First Amendment in protecting

artistic freedom."

When Parks, now 92, refused

to surrender her seat to a white man on a city bus in Montgomery , Alabama in

1955, her arrest set off a historic civil rights movement that included a 381-day

boycott of the bus system, orchestrated by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Parks has been diagnosed

with dementia since at least 2002.

Several of her relatives

opposed the lawsuit, stating that Parks would not have disapproved of the song

called "Rosa Parks" if she had not been mentally impaired.

Parks filed the suit against

Outkast in 1999 claiming defamation and trademark infringement for using her

name without consent.

A judge later released OutKast

from the lawsuit.

Parks’ lawyers

filed a second suit in August 2004 against BMG, Arista Records LLC and LaFace

Records, seeking more than $5 billion.

Related Stories