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Harry Potter Author J.K. Rowling Loses Court Fight to Ban Publication of Son's Picture

A British court has rejected J.K. Rowling's lawsuit over the publication of a photo of her son that was taken on an Edinburgh street in November 2004.

The photo showed Rowling and her husband, Neil Murray, with their son, David, in a baby carriage. It appeared with a Sunday Express story on the Harry Potter author's approach to family life.

Rowling sued Express Newspapers and Big Pictures (UK), the agency that supplied the photo, complaining their right to privacy had been violated. The couple sought damages and a ban on further publication of the photo.

Express Newspapers settled the claim. On Tuesday, judge Sir Nicholas Patten dismissed the case against the agency.

Rowling said she and Murray would appeal.

"Our aim has only been to protect our children from press intrusion during their childhood," Rowling. "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."

"We take his, and that of his siblings, privacy and safety very seriously," the statement said.

Rowling and Murray, a doctor, live in Edinburgh with David, now 4; Mackenzie, 2; and Jessica, Rowling's daughter from her first marriage.

The judge continued a temporary ban on publication of the picture.

"I have considerable sympathy for the claimant's parents and anyone else who wishes to shield their children from intrusive media attention," Patten said.

But he said the law doesn't allow them to "carve out a press-free zone for their children concerning absolutely everything they choose to do."

Rowling's seventh and final Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," was published last month.