Eric Clapton Decides Not To Collect The Costs Awarded To Him In The Bootleg Case

Eric Clapton’s management issued a statement to draw attention to widespread, unauthorized, and illegal CDs harming the industry and musicians, and to give details about the latest legal battle between the musicians’ lawyers and a German woman who was trying to sell a live bootleg CD.

It had been reported that Clapton’s German legal team reached out to a 55-year-old German woman known as Gabriele P. after she wanted to sell the musician’s live bootleg CD on eBay. She responded to their letter, saying that they shouldn’t harass her and they can take it to court if they wanted. Therefore, following Gabriele’s insisting not to cooperate or stop selling it on the website, Eric Clapton’s lawyers filed a lawsuit against the woman.

During the trial, the woman stated that the CD actually belonged to her late husband, and he had it almost thirty years ago to prove that she didn’t buy it. Then, she defended herself and said that she didn’t know that it was a copyright violation. However, Düsseldorf regional court found the woman guilty, so according to copyright law, she was ordered to pay approximately £212,353 or spend six months in prison.

After Clapton’s legal victory took place in the headlines worldwide, his management team released a statement to explain the main reason behind their case and what exactly happened between the two parties. The team emphasized that the woman could have prevented this lawsuit by sending a letter or calling the lawyers to help them understand the situation.

However, instead, she hired a lawyer to win the case against the musician. Even though the judge advised her to withdraw it not to pay costs, she didn’t accept and eventually had to pay all of them. They said that Eric Clapton wasn’t involved in the case and won’t collect the costs.

The management’s statement read:

“Given the widespread and often misleading press reports about a recent bootleg case involving a woman in Germany, the following provides clarification to set the record straight.

Germany is one of several countries where sales of unauthorized and usually poor-quality illegal bootleg CDs are rife, which harms both the industry and purchasers of inferior products. Over a period of more than 10 years the German lawyers appointed by Eric Clapton, and a significant number of other well-known artists and record companies, have successfully pursued thousands of bootleg cases under routine copyright procedures.

It is not the intention to target individuals selling isolated CDs from their own collection, but rather the active bootleggers manufacturing unauthorized copies for sale. In the case of an individual selling unauthorized items from a personal collection, if the following receipt of a “cease and desist” letter the offending items are withdrawn, any costs would be minimal or might be waived.

Eric Clapton’s lawyers and management team (rather than Eric personally) identifies if an item offered for sale is illegal, and a declaration confirming that is signed, but thereafter Eric Clapton is not involved in any individual cases, and 95% of the cases are resolved before going to Court.”

Clapton’s management added:

“This case could have been disposed of quickly at minimal cost, but unfortunately, in response to the German lawyers’ first standard letter, the individual’s reply included the line (translation): ‘feel free to file a lawsuit if you insist on the demands.’ This triggered the next step in the standard legal procedures, and the Court then made the initial injunction order.

If the individual had complied with the initial letter the costs would have been minimal. Had she explained at the outset the full facts in a simple phone call or letter to the lawyers, any claim might have been waived, and costs avoided.

However, the individual appointed a lawyer who appealed the injunction decision. The Judge encouraged the individual to withdraw the appeal to save costs, but she proceeded. The appeal failed and she was ordered to pay the costs of the Court and all of the parties.

However, when the full facts of this particular case came to light and it was clear the individual is not the type of person Eric Clapton, or his record company, wish to target, Eric Clapton decided not to take any further action and does not intend to collect the costs awarded to him by the Court. Also, he hopes the individual will not incur any further costs.

Eric Clapton Management
December 22, 2021″

Consequently, it can be understood from the statement that Eric Clapton and his legal team always intended to resolve the case before going to court but this time they couldn’t reach a settlement with the woman. The management revealed that the musician decided not to deal with these cases personally, but after that, he asked the lawyers not to cause any further trouble for the German woman.