Big Pictures: We never meant Rowling ‘distress’
August 8, 2007
Big Pictures’ boss has spoken out following yesterday?s High Court decision that prevented Harry Potter author J K Rowling banning publication of one of the agency’s pictures.
Using her real name Joanne Murray, Rowling sued Express Newspapers, which had printed a photograph of her 20-month-old son David, and Big Pictures (UK), the agency which supplied it. See yesterday?s story here:
Rowling had sought a High Court injunction banning publication of the image but the judge decided that Rowling was not entitled to ban future publication of a picture of one of her children.
The shot showed Rowling and her husband, with David in a buggy, on an Edinburgh street in November 2004.
Giving his reaction to the judgment Big Pictures chief executive Darryn Lyons said: ?It was never our intention to cause David Murray, or indeed any member of the family of J K Rowling, any distress.
?We were surprised to be served with court proceedings in 2005 in relation to a photograph which, in my view, is totally unremarkable.?
He added: ?We made every reasonable effort to reach an out-of-court settlement of this matter but unfortunately this could not be achieved.
?We were therefore left with no option but to defend ourselves and are delighted that the judge recognised that David Murray had no cause for complaint.?
Rowling argued that the capture and publication of the image entitled her son to damages for breach of confidence or ?mis-use of private information? and compensation under the Data Protection Act.
Rowling was granted permission to appeal against the judgment and a temporary ban on publication of the image remains in the meantime.
In a statement released to the press Rowling expressed her disappointment at the decision.
?Our aim has only been to protect our children from press intrusion during their childhood,? she said.
?We see no legitimate reason why, as in this case, David who was less than two years of age at the time, should have his photograph taken and then published in the press.?
For its part, Express Newspapers settled the claim some time ago.
? A fuller article on the implications of this ruling will be published in a future issue of Amateur Photographer