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Court Refuses to Hear Appeal on J.K. Rowling Photo Privacy Case

Legal
Posted by: sue
October 28, 2008, 10:14 AM

A court in the UK has refused to hear an appeal filed by Big Pictures LTD in regards to a case involving a photo of the young child of author J.K. Rowling. The Harry Potter author and her husband Dr. Neil Murray had won an appeal in May of the case they brought seeking to protect the privacy of their children, in specific photos of their young son that were published in a UK paper several years ago. The company that took those photos went to court again in hopes of appealing the decision, but the Press Gazette reports today that "the House of Lords has refused to hear an appeal in the privacy case brought by Harry Potter author J K Rowling and her husband over photographs taken as they walked in the street pushing their young son in a buggy."

The article continues:
In a key finding on May 7, the Master of the Rolls, Sir Anthony Clarke, sitting with Lord Justice Laws and Lord Justice Thomas, said: "If a child of parents who are not in the public eye could reasonably expect not to have photographs of him published in the media, so too should the child of a famous parent."

Hugh Tomlinson QC, who specialises in media issues, including privacy, said he was not surprised by the refusal to hear an appeal in the Rowling case.

"I am not surprised that the House of Lords refused permission because the way that the Court of Appeal dealt with the case was by saying that it should go to trial because it was fact-sensitive," he said.

Observers have commented that the Court of Appeal's decision in the Rowling case seems to leave the law of privacy in a confused state, and makes it difficult for the media to work out what is and is not likely to lead to problems.


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12 Comments

Amanda!!!

that pretty much sucks!! well go jo!!

Posted by Amanda!!! on October 28, 2008, 10:21 AM report to moderator
Coco

Why do they have to publist pics of her children! i dont understand!

Posted by Coco on October 28, 2008, 12:15 PM report to moderator
H

It is silly that the photo publishers should think that they had a case. Jo is an author, not a celebrity. She put her books, not herself, “out there.” There was no way for her to know that the popularity of the books would make her a household name.

Posted by H on October 28, 2008, 01:25 PM report to moderator
Robbie

yeah, give her and family privacy, but her, when shes on her own in the day, ask her for an autograph, or something like that would be fine.

Posted by Robbie on October 28, 2008, 01:29 PM report to moderator
Cat

With all the crazies in the world, Jo is well within her maternal right to protect her children however she sees fit!
The rabid paparazzi are absolutely vicious and they have no right to harrass and terrorize children, no matter how famous their parents are!
They scream about their rights! What about the rights of the innocent children!?!

Posted by Cat on October 28, 2008, 01:38 PM report to moderator
Anonymous

Great! What were they thinking, taking photos of her son?

Posted by Anonymous on October 28, 2008, 02:42 PM report to moderator
splinched

I agree, but sadly there are people, even those reading this very post, who would buy a publication just to see her son, it seems innocent, but it causes things like this. do you really need to see candid pictures of people in private moments? or their children? its maddening that just our simple curiosity causes people to violate the rights of others. watch what you consume.

Posted by splinched on October 28, 2008, 03:09 PM report to moderator
Professor Potter

That’s good news for all celebrities in UK. But splinched is right, there wouldnt be paparazzi if there wasnt great demand for their output. People who buy these celebrity gossip mags with exclusive photos of Keira Knightly sunbathing topless (hmm, I may like to get that one…) or seeing Downey Jnr drunk outside a bar are the ones inadvertently fuelling the paparazzi existence.

Posted by Professor Potter on October 28, 2008, 05:03 PM report to moderator
iamminerva

I would like to add to what Splinched and Professor Potter said by urging people to stop buying the tabloids. They are worthless pieces of trash that rarely tell the truth run by jealous people who have no class. If Jo Rowling, or anyone else, doesn’t want me to see pictures of her little ones, that’s fine with me. People need to keep their noses out of celebrities’ lives. The only things you should want to know about Jo should be about her profession, not her children. Bravo to the British court system for refusing to hear the appeal.

Posted by iamminerva on October 28, 2008, 08:54 PM report to moderator
bla

i dont care about celebratis who cares. jo is a kickass author i dont care what she looks like or her kids and if someone took a picture of my kids and posted pictures of them in the news i would be in jail because i would shove a toaster up their butt and set them on fire

Posted by bla on October 28, 2008, 10:14 PM report to moderator
Johanna

Well done! I’m glad I’ve never seen pictures of her children, I don’t need to. I already feel strange for knowing exactly what Suri Cruise looks like just because I read JustJared occassionally …

Posted by Johanna on October 29, 2008, 07:32 AM report to moderator
Noavatar-thumb
354 Points

She has the right to keep her children out of the spotlight. People need to start showing respect. She may be one of the most brilliant people in the world, but she is still human and she deserves respect for her and her family.

Posted by Hermionerules!1844 on August 12, 2009, 02:22 AM report to moderator
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