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
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.
filed a second suit in August 2004 against BMG, Arista Records LLC and LaFace
Records, seeking more than $5 billion.