- Statements following the April 18 hearing at U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta), presided over by the Honorable Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr.:
"We're gratified that the judge heard our arguments today," said Wendy Strothman, executive vice president of Houghton Mifflin. "As we stated in court, Alice Randall's novel falls well within the definition of parody and is therefore fully protected by the First Amendment and consistent with established copyright law. We await the judge's decision."
"Publishing in America relies on two principles: copyright and the First Amendment. We strongly support copyright holders' rights to control their work, their characters, and the licensing of sequels. Since 1832, Houghton Mifflin has been dedicated to publishing the finest American fiction, original new voices, and books that change the way we think," said Strothman. "We are determined to stand behind our author, Alice Randall, and her book, The Wind Done Gone
, which has been evaluated and praised by such eminent authorities as Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and best-selling author Pat Conroy."
Added Randall: "I've been quoted as saying that my father frequently instructed me to 'speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.' Somewhere along the way I decided to write for those who could not write for themselves."
Houghton Mifflin is a leading publisher of textbooks, instructional technology, assessments, and other educational materials for elementary and secondary schools and colleges. The company also publishes an extensive line of reference works and fiction and nonfiction for adults and young readers. The company's Internet site can be found at www.hmco.com
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