A few days ago, it was reported that Eric Clapton got a €3,400 (about $3,844) win in a court case against a woman who was attempting to sell a bootleg CD of one of his concerts for €9.95 (about $11.25) on eBay. Now, more details about the situation have come to light, including the fact that Clapton apparently doesn’t intend to actually collect the money awarded to him in the case.
“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 product. 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 unauthorised copies for sale. In the case of an individual selling unauthorised items from a personal collection, if following receipt of a ‘cease and desist’ letter the offending items are withdrawn, any costs would be minimal, or might be waived.”
The statement then claims the defendant was uncooperative with Clapton’s management when they contacted her, writing, “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.”
The statement concludes by noting, “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 herself incur any further costs.”