Settlement Reached Regarding The Wind Done Gone

Posted on May 13, 2002

Houghton Mifflin Company and the Stephens Mitchell Trusts have jointly agreed to bring and end to their litigation involving Houghton Mifflin's publication of Alice Randall's novel, The Wind Done Gone.

In the dispute between the two parties the author and publisher (Houghton Mifflin) claimed the book is a parody of the famous Gone With The Wind novel by Margaret Mitchell published in 1936. But Lawyers for The Mitchell Trusts Committee, which was created by Margaret Mitchell's brother to protect his sister's work, claimed the book is a copyright violation. In April, 2001 U.S. District Judge Charles Pannell Jr. ordered a preliminary injunction to prevent the publication of The Wind Done Gone, but the injunction was later lifted by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta and the book was available in bookstores a few weeks later.

Both sides continue to maintain the correctness of their respective legal positions taken since the outset of the litigation. The parties have entered into a confidential settlement agreement under which the novel The Wind Done Gone will continue in distribution labeled "An Unauthorized Parody", and a financial contribution will be made at the Mitchell Trusts' request to Morehouse College on behalf of Houghton Mifflin. The parties reserved their rights with respect to the future creation or publication of dramatic or other adaptations of the book. The rights of Alice Randall with respect to any adaptations of the book are not affected by the settlement.