J.K. Rowling's Solicitor Fined For Cuckoo's Calling Reveal

J.K. Rowling's Solicitor Fined For Cuckoo's Calling Reveal

Revealing the author's pseudonym cost this solicitor 1,000.

Chris Gossage, a partner at Russells Solicitors, inadvertently revealed J.K. Rowling's secret identity last year, when he told his wife's best friend that Rowling was moonlighting as crime novelist Robert Galbraith. The best friend Tweeted, as best friends sometimes do, and Russells had to issue an unreserved apology to Rowling. That wasn't the end of it, and Gossage has now paid a 1,000 fine for the confidentiality breach. Russells has also paid an undisclosed sum of damages to Rowling.

The damages Rowling received from Russells, and three year's worth of royalties from Galbraith's The Cuckoo's Calling, will be given to The Soldiers' Charity. In addition to the fine, Gossage has been censured by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The 1,000 fine is considered a forfeit to the Crown, and is given to the state after collection.

Rowling has said she'll keep writing more of the Galbraith crime series, "although [Robert] will probably continue to turn down personal appearances."

Source: BBC

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I like how you plaster the real name of the author who had hoped their real name to stay secret all over the article.
That seems really respectful to me.

loa:
I like how you plaster the real name of the author who had hoped their real name to stay secret all over the article.
That seems really respectful to me.

Well, this was some time ago. Its pretty much a "where are they now" piece.

At this point, its like pointing out Batman is Bruce Wayne, Superman is Clark Kent, and Aquaman has a horrible reputation.

Ultratwinkie:
Well, this was some time ago. Its pretty much a "where are they now" piece.

At this point, its like pointing out Batman is Bruce Wayne, Superman is Clark Kent, and Aquaman has a horrible reputation.

Well I didn't know of this until this here article pointed it out to me in detail so there's that.

Well, this guy sounds like he has a pretty good job so this fine seems like a slap on the wrist to him. So no major loss.

So it was an accident? I had assumed it was an intentional leak since ,IIRC, the book was not selling that well.

The book only sold once they knew JK wrote it. If she is that offended by the release of her name, maybe she should give back all that extra that came from the revealing of her name? I know he shouldnt have released her name, but its not like she did badly from it.

SonOfVoorhees:
The book only sold once they knew JK wrote it. If she is that offended by the release of her name, maybe she should give back all that extra that came from the revealing of her name? I know he shouldnt have released her name, but its not like she did badly from it.

Most of her money goes to charities - in fact, she's fallen off the Forbes list of the world's richest people because she's given away so much money. She's not in anything for the money anymore. She's probably disappointed her writing won't be judged simply on its merit and not by her name now, that's all.

Man, this is a whole cluster fuck.

Fuck up number 1. A guy tells another guy/gal "hey, Robert Galbraith is actually the Harry Potter chick"
Fuck up number 2. Second guy/gal tweets this obvious secret, like a fucking numpty.
Fuck up number 3. The guy/gal costs the original guy over 1,000 plus other shit.

After that I bet the original guy has taken a vow of silence, just so he doesn't cost himself his house!

Anyway, unless critics are ripping this series apart, how can her being revealed as the actual writer do any damage? Wouldn't putting a big name author on any book cause it's sales to rise significantly? "damn, now that series of books is popular as well! Can't I just suck for once?"

loa:

Ultratwinkie:
Well, this was some time ago. Its pretty much a "where are they now" piece.

At this point, its like pointing out Batman is Bruce Wayne, Superman is Clark Kent, and Aquaman has a horrible reputation.

Well I didn't know of this until this here article pointed it out to me in detail so there's that.

So the Escapist shouldn't post news you don't already know or potentially don't want to know? That's an interesting way of looking at things. How will they know that you don't want to know about it before they post it?
How egotistical.

This story has been splashed across ALL major news agencies. I've known about it and I have absolutely zero interest in her and her work.

erttheking:
Well, this guy sounds like he has a pretty good job so this fine seems like a slap on the wrist to him. So no major loss.

The 1000 fine is just the tip of the iceberg, he also had an undisclosed fine to pay (which could be way more than 1000) and now has the reputation of disclosing confidential information about his clients to random people. That's more than a slap on the wrist.

Li Mu:
So the Escapist shouldn't post news you don't already know or potentially don't want to know? That's an interesting way of looking at things. How will they know that you don't want to know about it before they post it?
How egotistical.

This story has been splashed across ALL major news agencies. I've known about it and I have absolutely zero interest in her and her work.

Because saying mentioning the name of someone who waned to remain anonymous is disrespectful to them is totally egotistical.
Cool strawman bro.

I like how the guy had to pay damages on top of the fine, despite the fact that the book is likely to have sold way more copies once people realised Rowling wrote it, rather than just some guy.

Also, what will she do now that her one allotted made-up name is gone? Guess she's got no choice but to write as Rowling again :( If only you could make up more than one name...

loa:

Ultratwinkie:
Well, this was some time ago. Its pretty much a "where are they now" piece.

At this point, its like pointing out Batman is Bruce Wayne, Superman is Clark Kent, and Aquaman has a horrible reputation.

Well I didn't know of this until this here article pointed it out to me in detail so there's that.

All editions of the book currently on sale have J.K. Rowling's name on the cover or on the dustjacket. It's completely impossible to read the book and remain unaware that Rowling wrote it. Besides, she's not even trying to keep it a secret any longer.

loa:

Because saying mentioning the name of someone who waned to remain anonymous is disrespectful to them is totally egotistical.
Cool strawman bro.

Actually, I think you misunderstood my point. You were complaining about the Escapist reporting facts that you had never heard before. I was simply saying that to complain that the Escapist is publishing information which is common knowledge to everyone except you is hardly a good complaint to make. The Escapist is hardly a frontline news source. Most of the things they report about have already been reported by the major news outlets for days.

So again, are you suggesting that they shouldn't report on things which are already common knowledge to everyone but you?

SonOfVoorhees:
The book only sold once they knew JK wrote it.

moggett88:
I like how the guy had to pay damages on top of the fine, despite the fact that the book is likely to have sold way more copies once people realised Rowling wrote it, rather than just some guy.

Because god forbid she just wanted to remain comfortably anonymous and not have anyone compare it to her previous works.
Because that'd be ridiculous right? Money is the only important thing in the world.

OT: Hope this "undiclosed" damages is a semi-decent amount. I mean most(all?) of it goes to charity, so I'd think she'd probably be a bit forgiving.

"Damages"? She gets a free publicity stunt that boosts her mediocre book's sales and she calls that "damages"?

I think people are missing the point. He's a solicitor. It's his job to keep confidential information a secret. He failed to do that, and so he was ordered to pay damages to JK Rowling - the client whose information he let slip. I don't see anywhere in the article that states she went out of her way to sue him.

loa:

Li Mu:
So the Escapist shouldn't post news you don't already know or potentially don't want to know? That's an interesting way of looking at things. How will they know that you don't want to know about it before they post it?
How egotistical.

This story has been splashed across ALL major news agencies. I've known about it and I have absolutely zero interest in her and her work.

Because saying mentioning the name of someone who waned to remain anonymous is disrespectful to them is totally egotistical.
Cool strawman bro.

Revealed secret is revealed...

Keyword "WANTED", past tense. Just because you don't know doesn't make it any more important, the "secrecy" of "Galbraith" being an alias was already lost. Or is it also disrespectful to say Vader is Luke's father?

JayElleBee:
I think people are missing the point. He's a solicitor. It's his job to keep confidential information a secret. He failed to do that, and so he was ordered to pay damages to JK Rowling - the client whose information he let slip. I don't see anywhere in the article that states she went out of her way to sue him.

^This. The money isn't the point.

More than likely, she had a contract with her publisher that they would publish her books under her terms. Considering she is one of the most influential authors currently living, she likely got to dictate all of the terms. Like, "Hey, don't publish my name."

It's basically just a simple case of a breach of contract. If I had to guess, the contract likely also contained a clause that she would have to publish all Galbraith books through this agent. A suit might've been needed to get off that hook of writing for an agent she no longer trusts with her interests.

Johnny Novgorod:
"Damages"? She gets a free publicity stunt that boosts her mediocre book's sales and she calls that "damages"?

A book that it sounds like she was trying out new writing styles/story style which she was not confident in and which may not have worked out well was tested with a name that was disposable, now that it's linked to her name if it was a bad book then its now linked to her damaging her reputation among readers. It's not just about the amount of money it brings in but what it can cost in the long term to her reputation among her fans.

Not to mention at the end of the day he's her solicitor and she should be able to trust him, he broke that trust (and possibly contract/privacy laws) and thus must now pay the piper regardless of weather it worked out well or not.

CpT_x_Killsteal:

SonOfVoorhees:
The book only sold once they knew JK wrote it.

moggett88:
I like how the guy had to pay damages on top of the fine, despite the fact that the book is likely to have sold way more copies once people realised Rowling wrote it, rather than just some guy.

Because god forbid she just wanted to remain comfortably anonymous and not have anyone compare it to her previous works.
Because that'd be ridiculous right? Money is the only important thing in the world.

OT: Hope this "undiclosed" damages is a semi-decent amount. I mean most(all?) of it goes to charity, so I'd think she'd probably be a bit forgiving.

I agree, he should have kept his yap shut, which is why I agree with the original fine and the fact that his reputation (and therefore career prospects) are now worth shit.

What I don't agree with is the damages. What exactly was damaged? Rowlings' feelings? I think any additional discretionary punishment should be like-for-like, so Rowling should get to disclose one of the guys' secrets, like his length and girth, to the public, or he should have to make it up to her with back rubs and helping them move or something. Not money.

This should be a lesson in keeping your work life separate from your friends unless said friends are work colleagues and already in the know. I really don't have any sympathy for this guy at all; J.K.R is probably one of the most famous people around, certainly in Britain anyway, and any news on her is gold so how stupid would you be to give away her confidential information as though it were mere gossip? It's like leaving a kid in a candy store, telling them not to eat anything and then being surprised when you come back to find they've stuffed their face, just what were you expecting to happen? And he's a solicitor for god's sake! You're supposed to be able to trust them with your private information like you would with a doctor or any other professional where patient/client confidentiality is paramount.

I hope this guy disowned the "friend" that tweeted a confidential secret.

 

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