Clapton’s management explains why he sued Widow over bootleg CD

Eric Clapton’s management released a statement after the musician recently won a lawsuit against a widow who attempted to sell a bootleg CD of Clapton belonging to her late husband on eBay because the two NME and Stereo eraser reported this week. Clapton will no longer claim the damages awarded to him in this case.

The costume initially appeared to be a reactionary move by the 76-year-old English guitarist and singer-songwriter, who recently appears to want to alienate some of his fans by refusing to play concerts where COVID-19 vaccination is required and calling for Pandemic Safety Guidelines “Propaganda.” Clapton recently lined up with another classic rocker Van Morrison in this regard.

The woman in the CD suit, Gabriele, 55, German resident, inherited the unofficial Eric Clapton – Live in USA album that her husband had bought in 1986 after his death. But when she put it up for sale on eBay in July, she received a takedown notice from the auction website, followed by an affidavit from Clapton’s attorneys claiming the recording was made without her consent.

“They told me Eric Clapton complained,” Gabriele told the German newspaper Bild last month. “The CD would have been recorded illegally. I got a warning first, then the decision. My husband bought the CD from a department store, not … under the counter.

She was later ordered to pay a fine of almost $ 4,000 after appealing for a ceasefire and abstaining from Clapton’s lawyers. However, apparently disputing the conduct of the lawsuit in the press, Clapton management released the clarifying statement on Wednesday (December 22).

They said they did not intend to “target individuals selling isolated CDs”, but rather only “active bootleggers making unauthorized copies for sale”. But they suggested that Gabriele challenged them in her initial response to their cease and desist, saying she told them to “do not hesitate to file a complaint”.

According to their statement, the whole matter “could have been settled quickly” with little or no cost to Gabriele had she complied with their first correspondence regarding the removal of the bootleg. Clapton management said it only initiated the lawsuit when it refused to cooperate.

What do you think of the trial? Read the full message from Clapton’s management below.

In light of the widespread and often misleading press reports on a recent smuggling case involving a woman in Germany, the following provides some insight into setting the record straight.

Germany is one of the many countries where sales of illegal, unauthorized and generally low-quality CDs are rife, hurting both the industry and buyers of substandard products. Over a period of more than 10 years, the German attorneys appointed by Eric Clapton, and a significant number of other well-known artists and record companies, have successfully prosecuted thousands of infringement cases in the legal proceedings of ‘author of routine.

The intention is not to target individuals selling isolated CDs from their own collection, but rather active smugglers making unauthorized copies for sale. In the case of an individual selling unauthorized items from a personal collection, if, upon receipt of a “cease and desist” letter, the offending items are removed, the charge would be minimal or could be waived.

Eric Clapton’s lawyers and management team (rather than Eric personally) identify whether an item offered for sale is illegal, and a statement confirming this is signed, but thereafter Eric Clapton is not involved in any individual case, and 95% of cases are resolved before going to court.

This case could have been settled quickly at minimal cost, but unfortunately, in response to the first standard letter from German lawyers, the individual’s response included the line: “Please feel free to file a complaint if you insist on the requirements ”. This triggered the next stage of standard legal process, and the Court then issued the initial injunction order.

If the person had complied with the original letter, the costs would have been minimal. If she had explained all the facts straight away with a simple phone call or letter to the lawyers, any claims could have been dropped and the 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 sued. The appeal having failed, she was ordered to pay the costs of the Court and of all the parties.

However, when all the facts of this particular case came to light and it was clear that the individual was not the type of person Eric Clapton, or his record company, wanted to target, Eric Clapton decided to take no further action and does not intend to recover the costs awarded to it by the Court. In addition, he hopes that the person will not incur additional costs themselves.

Eric Clapton Management
22 December 2021

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