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'The Wind Done Gone' is done for, judge says

A federal judge blocked publication of "The Wind Done Gone," a parody novel that he said borrows too liberally from "Gone With the Wind" and infringes on the copyright of Margaret Mitchell's classic novel.

Alice Randall, whose book was to be published by Houghton Mifflin in June, says that her story, told from the point of view of Scarlett O'Hara's mulatto half-sister on the plantation Tata, is a political parody.

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The publisher further argued that its publication is proper under the fair-use doctrine of the Copyright Act and the First Amendment.

However, US District Judge Charles Pannell ruled that the novel is essentially a retelling of "Gone With the Wind" from a different point of view, using the same fictional characters and places.

A growing list of authors and scholars have publicly voiced their opposition to the Mitchell Trusts' efforts to stop publication of the book, including Toni Morrison and Harper Lee.

Meanwhile, four advance copies of "The Wind Done Gone" were pulled last week from the Internet auction site eBay after bidding reached a high of $485 for one copy.

A lawyer for the Mitchell Trust had asked eBay to remove the books, fearing that the whole book would wind up published on the Internet.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor