Rosa Parks, whose act of civil disobedience triggered the 1955 bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala., has sued Atlanta-based hip-hop group Outkast and its record label, LaFace Records for violating her right of publicity. The band’s latest album includes a song titled “Rosa Parks” that allegedly contains derogatory descriptions of black Americans and women.

What are the limits on living historical figures’ so-called right of publicity — that is, the right of an individual to control the commercial exploitation of her name or likeness?

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