A celebrated figure in America for refusing to move to the back of the bus, Rosa Parks worked hard to stop people from benefiting from her celebrity. Her estate continues that policy but has lost a key case.

Rosa Parks, who is famous for refusing to take a seat in the back of the bus, helped spark the civil rights movement and inspired others to stand up for their rights. Parks is also known for not allowing other people to use her name or image.

She famously sued the band Outkast for referencing her in a song. Since she passed away, her estate has continued her policy and has sued those they believe have inappropriately used Parks’ name. The latest lawsuit was against the retailer Target for selling books and copies of a movie about Parks.

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Parks’ estate has lost the suit in Federal Appeals Court. The article is entitled “Rosa Parks Heirs Lose Legal Battle Over Movie, Books Sold at Target.

The court ruled that, since Parks was a figure of historical significance, free speech rights to discuss history trump her estate’s publicity rights to her name and story.

This is an example of an estate most likely doing the right thing and treating a deceased’s rights as she would have treated them but their goal may remain a challenge with a historical figure such as Rosa Parks.

Reference: The Hollywood Reporter (Jan. 4, 2016) “Rosa Parks Heirs Lose Legal Battle Over Movie, Books Sold at Target.

For more information on estate planning, please visit my estate planning website.

Mr. Amoruso concentrates his practice on Elder Law, Comprehensive Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Estate Administration and Guardianship.