Judge Rules In Outkast/Rosa Parks Lawsuit

Outkast, their lawyers, and their record labels must be breathing a collective sigh of relief.

Judge Barbara Hackett of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, dismissed a lawsuit that civil rights activist Rosa Parks filed against the group for using her name in their hit single "Rosa Parks" (see "Outkast-Rosa Parks Conflict Enters Courtroom").

The Court released a 24-page opinion on the case, and was apparently not persuaded by Parks' two principal arguments raised against the group. The first was that she has a right to be compensated for the commercial exploitation of her name. The second argument questions why her name was used in the title, if the song is in fact not about her.

A statement released by Parks' attorney, Gregory J. Reed, cites the Court's statement as "containing certain factual inaccuracies," and goes on to indicate that Parks will appeal the ruling. The

statement, in part, reads, "Mrs. Parks will forge ahead in this matter with the same faith, courage and quiet strength she employed to change a nation."

We'll keep you updated on the case as it develops.

In happier news for Mrs. Parks, she will be among those honored at the Tenth Anniversary Noel Foundation Awards, taking place at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on December 8. Breast cancer researcher Dr. Hadassa Degani and Judge Navanethem Pilay, credited with establishing rape as a war crime, will also be honored at the ceremony, which will be hosted by Olivia Newton-John.

Honorees are selected based on their impact on 20th century history and are chosen by the Noel Foundation in conjunction with the United Nations Development Fund for Women. Tickets for the event are available by calling (949) 552-2880 (not a toll free call), and proceeds from sales, which are tax deductible, will be used to support the Noel Foundation's domestic and international

programs.

The main objective of the Noel Foundation, founded in 1989, is to act as a catalyst for social change. In its decade-long existence, the Foundation has promoted a number of grass roots educational programs for women, provided opportunities for impoverished people and offered disaster relief.