Rap stars Outkast are set to be sued by American civil rights pioneer ROSA PARKS after using her name on one of their hit records.

An appeals court in Cincinnati overturned an earlier ruling that the US group had not illegally used her name on a track from the album AQUEMINI.

Parks, who helped launch the civil rights movement in 1955 after refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man, alleges OutKast's use of her name infringed her right to publicity.

The case has now been sent back to a lower court to be heard, after the lawsuit was originally dismissed in 1999.

The court will have to determine whether the use of Parks' name was "symbolic" or a "disguised commercial advertisement".

But the appeals panel dismissed claims that the song defamed the 90-year-old and affected her business dealings.

Speaking about the appeal court's decision, Parks' lawyer, GREGORY REED, said the case reaffirmed the rights of citizens in the US that their name could not be appropriated for profit.

He says, "It's another stand for which Mrs Parks has stood tall."

The lawsuit seeks to have all references to Ms Parks removed from future recordings.

Lawyers for OutKast are seriously considering another appeal "because First Amendment issues affecting artistic freedom are at stake".

13/05/2003 17:09