'Actor' Allegedly Threatening Carnival Cruise Lines For Filming Him & Not Paying Royalties

from the seriously? dept

This one is a bit lacking in detail, and the story seems to raise more questions than it answers, but assuming it’s accurate, it’s yet another example of the sort of bizarre legal situations that people are put through because of bizarre beliefs about who “owns” their likeness. This one was sent in by Ry Jones and it involves a small portion of an incredibly long and rambling blog post by Carnival Cruise’s “senior cruise director,” John Heald. You have to scroll about two-thirds of the way down to find the story of the cruise line allegedly being sued by a guy demanding royalties because a “welcome show” was filmed and shown on the ship. Here’s how Heald describes the situation:

Anyway, the facts are that I chose six volunteers to come on stage with me for the welcome aboard show. Amongst them was a fine young man who got into the whole spirit of the show and all was well. However the next morning he demanded to speak to me telling me that I must remove the show which had been recorded and was playing on the cabin televisions. The reasons behind his demands were that he was an actor and if I played the show I would owe him royalties…….lots of royalties. I respected his request and had the entertainment technical manager edit out his interview portion so there was no speaking although I kept the spoon game section in as it involved all six of the guests.

This made Mr Cloonpitt very unhappy and he demanded I remove the entire show which on the third day of the cruise I eventually did. He spent the rest of the cruise telling me I owed him money and that he would be contacting his agent which…….I guess he did. Now I have cleared all of the above with the Carnival lawyers and they have no problem with me telling you about this because amongst other things Mr Cloonpitt volunteered to do the show and there is a waiver thingy within the ticket policies. However, I now I have to write a formal report about this and that’s got me mad as I wanted to spend the afternoon with Kye and Heidi. I had Googled the actors name and nothing came up on IMDB.com ………….he hadn’t even played a dead body on ER.

Assuming this is accurate, Heald is right that Carnival’s lawyers should have a field day with this guy, and he’ll likely realize pretty quickly that he’s got no legal leg whatsoever.

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Comments on “'Actor' Allegedly Threatening Carnival Cruise Lines For Filming Him & Not Paying Royalties”

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Logan2057 (profile) says:


No wonder the poor “senior cruise director” couldn’t find any reference to Mr.”Cloonpitt”, the bloody tugger made his name up by combining Cloony and Pitt, as in George Cloony and Brad Pitt. Sounds to me like this clown wasn’t supposed to be on said cruise and was afraid his boss would catch him in the lie. He’s nothing more than a wannabe and a crooked one at that, his so-called agent is probably a buddy onshore who’s a bottom feeder ready to sue anyone. From the sounds of this story the drongo ain’t got a leg to stand on and he knows it so he’s trying to bluff the cruise lines into paying him money to shut him up. I’d love to see this go to court and have him and his “agent” both thrown in the clink.

Not an electronic Rodent says:

Re: Re: Aniconism

I believe the cruise director made up the name, so as not to name the actual person…

If that’s what he was doing it’s awfully considerate of him in the circumstance, but I think “Mr. Clotpole” might have scanned better as well as summing up the action rather nicely 🙂
Let’s hope he now doesn’t get sued for defamation by the combined enterprise of Messers Cloony and Pitt (or sent to “sleep with the fishes” in true ‘Vegas style 🙂 )

Not an electronic Rodent says:

One born every minute

couldn’t find any reference to Mr.”Cloonpitt”, the bloody tugger made his name up by combining Cloony and Pitt, as in George Cloony and Brad Pitt

Indeed a quick google of “Cloonpitt” shows only references to this very story and 1 reference to a joint venture between the 2 gentlemen in question in Las Vegas. Not one person anywhere with that surname. Sounds like Mr. Director needs to practice his search-fu – they do have internet on cruise ships these days don’t they?

As for “Mr. Cloonpitt”‘s claim, I guess there’s a wider point here that asks “How can you later claim any kinds of rights over a picture of you when you knew there was a camera pointing at you, deliberately volunteered for it and you didn’t try to enter into any kind of contract up front?”.
Surely this kind of claim ought to at least be supported by a pro forma “Using any images of me will be taken as your acceptance of my standard contract for royalties related to.. blah blah blah” or some such legal nonsense sent beforehand to the cruise line? I seem to remember there was a guy a number of years ago used a technique like that to discourage cold calling salesmen, but I’ve no idea if even he got anywhere with it.

DogBreath says:

And Mr. Cloonpitt's next lawsuit target...

will most likely be the unauthorized filming of him by a bank camera while he is withdrawing money at the ATM, because… “he’s an ACTOR”. (Actually, that’s probably the only “on-screen” time he ever had.)

I’m an actor too. Every time I go to get gas at the local 7-11 convenience store, there I am, up on the TV where everyone can see me. Where are my damn royalties? This is fair warning 7-11, pay up or I’ll see you in court.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: And Mr. Cloonpitt's next lawsuit target...

He actually could be a stage actor, belonging to the Actor’s Equity union, and not appear on IMDB. Equity has an agreement with SAG and AFTRA, screen and broadcast actor unions, respectively, but I’m sure he wouldn’t have known what exactly are the parameters of the agreement.

Either way, his demands were certainly not legit.

DogBreath says:

Re: Re: And Mr. Cloonpitt's next lawsuit target...

Either way, his demands were certainly not legit.

I hope the judge in the case sees it that way. Because if he wins in court, I see the following new business method being patented by someone:

1. Search around looking for places to “volunteer” to be in a video.

2. Wait for it to be shown, then pull out your SAG, AFTRA or Equity Card and demand royalties or you’ll sue.

3. Profit.

Or the other “number three” outcome:

3. Obscurity / Laughing Stock of the Internet

btr1701 (profile) says:


There’s also the reverse of this situation, where I’ve seen movie and TV productions set up in a public place somewhere to film, and they put up signs that say: “Filming for a television production is occuring in the vicinity. By entering this area, you agree to the use of your image in any way we choose, for all time, anywhere in the world.”

They apparently think they can bind you to some exclusive licensing contract just because you walked down a public street.

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