BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Americas
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Saturday, 21 April, 2001, 04:20 GMT 05:20 UK
Blow for 'Wind' parody
Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind
A love affair is a predominant theme of the movie
By Malcolm Brabant

A US federal judge in the state of Georgia has blocked the publication of a book whose author claimed was a parody of Margaret Mitchell's classic novel Gone With the Wind.

Judge Charles Pannell ruled that Alice Randall's novel The Wind Done Gone was a pirated version of Miss Mitchell's 1936 epic of the American Civil War, and he granted an injunction preventing its publication.

Cover of Alice Randall's The Wind Done Gone
Randall's book has gained support from authors
If you will pardon the distortion of Rhett Butler's classic line, "frankly my dear", Judge Pannell made it clear that he "didn't give a damn" for Alice Randall's argument that her work was a political parody.

Her story was written from the perspective of Scarlett O'Hara's mixed-race half-sister on the Georgia plantation which was the setting for the original novel and the subsequent Oscar-winning film starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh.

Copyright

Miss Randall gathered a formidable array of literary supporters to back her claim that parody was an important element of free speech.

She said her work was designed to ridicule a book that had portrayed black slaves as a happy, supportive backdrop to white masters in the racist Confederate South.

A scene from Gone With the Wind
Gone With The Wind is an enduring classic movie
But attorneys for Miss Mitchell's estate argued successfully that the crux of this case was not freedom of expression but the protection of a writer's creativity and copyright.

Judge Pannell agreed, ruling that Alice Randall's story borrowed too liberally from Gone With the Wind and constituted unabated piracy.

A spokesman for the Mitchell Trust described it as a marvellous decision which protected authors and publishers.

Houghton Mifflin, the publishers who backed Miss Randall, said they had a tradition of fighting for America's First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech, and would continue to do so.

As Scarlett O'Hara would say after losing everything - "tomorrow is another day".

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Americas stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories