Eric Clapton has come for a woman who was trying to sell a bootleg copy of his album Eric Clapton – Live USA on eBay.
The 55-year-old widow from Germany was reportedly trying to hawk the CD, which belonged to her late husband, for €9.95 (that’s around AUD $15), but will now have to fork out thousands of dollars in legal fees after Clapton successfully sued her.
As the ABC reports, the woman mistakenly believed her husband bought the CD from a reputable outlet back in the 80’s, and claimed to be entirely unaware that she was committing copyright infringement by trying to sell it on.
Regardless, a German judge has thrown the book at her, ordering the woman to pay both parties’ legal fees to the tune of about AUD $5,370. She’s also been warned that, if she does proceed to sell the CD, she’ll cop a much heftier fine of around AUD $395K and face up to six months behind bars.
In a statement to The Guardian, Clapton’s manager, Michael Eaton, defended the decision to sue the woman.
“Germany is a country where sales of bootleg and counterfeit CDs are rife, which damages the industry and customers with poor quality and misleading recordings,” Eaton said. “Along with a number of other major artists and record companies, over a number of years Eric Clapton has, through German lawyers, successfully pursued hundreds of bootleg cases in the German courts under routine German copyright procedures.
He continued: “Costs are usually minimal unless the case is argued in court, which is what happened here as the lady instructed her own lawyers. Now that the full facts of this particular case have come to light, the intention is that the formal German proceedings will not be pursued any further.”
But the fight isn’t over. According to Rolling Stone, the woman is planning to appeal the court’s decision.