Plus, a former employee pens a tell all

By Matthew Flamm
Updated April 11, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT

WIND OF WAR Once again a battle rages over Tara, as both sides in a lawsuit wait to find out whether Houghton Mifflin can publish ”The Wind Done Gone,” which returns to the scene of ”Gone With the Wind,” but from the viewpoint of a former slave who is also Scarlett O’Hara’s half sister. Lawyers for the Stephens Mitchell Trusts, which control rights to Margaret Mitchell’s Civil War tale (and any sequels), have accused Houghton Mifflin of copyright infringement. ”’The Wind Done Gone’ is an inspired act of literary invention that gives voice to those whom history and culture have silenced,” Houghton Mifflin trade division chief Wendy Strothman said in a statement. ”It is unconscionable to deny anyone the right to comment on a book that has taken on such mythic status in American culture.”

Responds Trusts’ lawyer Thomas Selz: ”Merely invoking parody or commentary doesn’t make it legitimate to take people’s beloved characters and put them in your own story…. It would be like saying because you think James Bond is a sexist pig, you could retell all of the James Bond books from the point of view of Miss Moneypenny.” Judge Charles Pannell of the U.S. District Court in Atlanta is expected to decide within the next two weeks whether to grant a temporary restraining order to block publication.

AMAZON WARRIOR Mike Daisey may soon do to what Michael Moore once did to General Motors. The former customer service representative, whose non- disclosure agreement recently expired, is writing a memoir based on his one-man show, ”21 Dog Years: Doing Time @” ”He was the dude in customer service, and they’ve rarely been given voice throughout the whole Internet explosion,” says Daisey’s agent, Daniel Greenberg. According to Amazon spokesperson Patty Smith, ”This is the first I’ve heard of it; certainly we wish Mike success.”

Gone With the Wind

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