Friday, April 15, 2005


The rather nasty lawsuit between Sony-BMG and Rosa Parks, arising from Outkast naming a song after her without permission, has been settled. Sony BMG admit no wrongdoing, but have agreed to invest cash "to enlighten today's youth about the significant role Rosa Parks played in making America a better place for all races."

Outkast had been dismissed from the suit by a judge earlier; we're still not entirely sure what possessed Sony-BMG to not just say "sorry" and settle back then. Now, though, Sony are positively brimming over with joy about the chances this settlement are giving them, to judge by their solicitor Joe Beck:

"We think it will go a long way towards teaching a new generation about Rosa Parks and her accomplishments, and we appreciate Mrs. Parks' and her attorneys' acknowledgment of the First Amendment in protecting artistic freedom."

- which does raise the question: if Sony thinks this is such a great thing to be involved in, why did it take a lawsuit to make them decide to do it?

We're also wondering if an Associated Press sub saw this bit before they posted the story to the wires:

The settlement ends a legal dispute that some of Parks' own relatives had criticized, saying she wouldn't have minded the use of her name in the song "Rosa Parks" had she not been mentally impaired.

Now, we know they mean that had she been able to speak for herself, some of her family believe she wouldn't have had an objection to the song. But the way it's written makes it sound like her relatives were going "she only complained because she was nuts."

But don't wait for Sony to teach you history:

1 comment:

M.C. Glammer said...

Where are the Austrian Ferdinands when you need them?

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