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AUTHOR'S HEIRS SCARLET

Best-selling French author Regine Deforges says there is no chance a French court will rule in favor of Margaret Mitchell's heirs in their $750,000 plagiarism lawsuit against her. "France is one country in the world where authors are protected in their right of free expression," The Atlanta Constitution quoted Deforges Thursday. "For them, plagiarism does not exist." Deforges, 53, said Mitchell's 1936 epic "Gone With the Wind" inspired her novel, "The Blue Bicycle." Mitchell died in 1949. Deforges' novel is the story of Lea, a French grape grower's daughter who serves as a courier for the French Resistance during World War II. The novel has sold millions of copies in France.