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Friday, 12 October, 2001, 09:46 GMT 10:46 UK
Wind parody wins appeal
Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh
Gone With The Wind was turned into a classic film
A US federal court has affirmed a May ruling that a controversial parody of Gone With the Wind is legal.

Gone With The Wind author Margaret Mitchell's estate complained that the parody written by Alice Randall, breached the original's copyright.

Alice Randall's The Wind Done Gone
Randall's book may not be published in the UK
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta on Wednesday said that the parody - The Wind Done Gone - is protected by the First Amendment.

This amendment to the US Constitution guarantees freedom of worship, speech, assembly and a free press.

Monetary damages

A lawyer for the publisher of Randall's book - Houghton Mifflin Co - said the ruling is a "complete vindication" of their case.

"Parody, of course, is permissible under the copyright laws," he said

But the three-judge panel ruled that Mitchell's estate may be entitled to monetary damages.

The Wind Done Gone, re-tells Mitchell's Civil War-era story from a slave's point of view.

Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh
Randall's book has many references to the original
Randall's story is narrated by a mixed-race plantation owner's daughter who is Gone With The Wind heroine Scarlett O'Hara's half-sister.

The author has said her work was designed to ridicule a book that portrayed black slaves as happy and supportive of white masters in the racist Confederate South.

But Mitchell's estate argued that the use of the same settings and characters amounted to a breach of the original work's copyright.

The court has now sent the case back to a lower court, which may now consider whether Mitchell's heirs are entitled to monetary damages.

Richard Kurnit, a New York-based lawyer for Mitchell's heirs, said the latest ruling raised the question of whether the now-published parody affected sequel rights to Gone With the Wind.

A spokesperson for Houghton Mifflin in the UK said it would be at least several months before the book is released in the UK, if at all.

See also:

17 May 01 | Arts
Media giants back Wind parody
21 Apr 01 | Americas
Blow for 'Wind' parody
14 Jun 01 | Arts
Wind parody goes on sale
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