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Last Updated: Monday, 8 December, 2003, 17:02 GMT
Civil rights icon can sue OutKast
Rosa Parks
Parks was arrested and charged for violating segregation laws
US civil rights icon Rosa Parks has won the right in court to proceed with her case against rap duo OutKast for using her name as the title of a hit song.

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.

It was nominated for a Grammy award in 1999
It includes the lyrics: "Hush that fuss, everybody move to the back of the bus"
It is taken from the band's 1998 Aquemini album
The album has sold about 2.5 million copies

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.

Hip-hop group go back to court
06 May 01  |  Entertainment

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