Actors get €1,500 in action over Arthur's Day photos


TWO ACTORS who played Arthur Guinness and his benefactor, an archbishop, in an event organised by the Court Yard Hotel, Leixlip, Co Kildare, in 2006, discovered that a photograph of their act had been used five years later to promote Arthur’s Day in the same venue, the District Court heard yesterday.

Barrister Eva Nagle told the court that in September 2006, actors Daniel O’Connor and Keith Willis performed at a promotional event for the hotel, built on the site of the first brewery Arthur Guinness established.

She said Mr O’Connor, Bolton Green, Knocksedan, Swords, Co Dublin, played the character of Arthur Guinness while Mr Willis, Kimmage Grove, Lower Kimmage Road, Kimmage, Dublin, was the archbishop of Dublin who left money in his will to the young Arthur.

Judge Patrick Clyne heard that the agreement between the hotel and the actors’ agency did not include a release clause allowing the hotel to use photographs of the actors for future commercial purposes.

Ms Nagle said the photograph was used in 2011, without the consent of the actors involved, in a flyer promoting the Arthur’s Day event at the hotel.

It showed each of them with a pint of Guinness in hand.

She said the actors had not received any payment for it, nor had they been given the opportunity to object to its publication.

The hotel said the 2006 event was an “open shoot” and therefore anybody was allowed to take pictures, the copyright of which belonged to the photographer.

Judge Clyne said each of the actors had been photographed holding a pint of Guinness and not, for instance, a pint of Murphy’s stout. He said the actors were entitled to succeed in their claim for unauthorised endorsement and awarded each of them €1,500.