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Eric Clapton waives claims after winning German bootleg CD case

The woman had found the two CDs while clearing out the home of her former husband after his death
FILED - 30 May 2013, Berlin: British singer Eric Clapton performs on the stage of o2 World in Berlin. Clapton has waived his claims against a German woman after winning a case about bootleg CDs, according to a statement on his homepage. Photo: Britta Pedersen/dpa-Zentralbild/dpa.
British singer Eric Clapton performs on the stage of o2 World in Berlin. Photo: Britta Pedersen/dpa.

Eric Clapton has waived his claims against a German woman after winning a case about bootleg CDs, according to a statement on his homepage.

The famous Blues singer and guitarist had won a case against a woman from Ratingen, near Dusseldorf, after a judge ruled she could no longer sell a live recording of a Clapton concert from 1987 on eBay.

The woman would otherwise face an administrative fine of up to 250,000 euros (282,000 dollars), the court ruled.

The woman had found the two CDs while clearing out the home of her former husband after his death. She offered the CDs on eBay for 9.95 euros.

Clapton's lawyers had the auction stopped as the recording was made illegally.

The woman argued she could not have known that it was an illegal recording, saying her husband had bought the CD legally in a supermarket.

The dispute incurred more than 3,400 euros in the form of reminder fees, lawyer's fees and court costs, according to calculations by her lawyer.

'Harm the industry'

Clapton's team said his lawyers had been pursuing thousands of bootleg cases under routine copyright procedures for the past decade, noting that "sales of unauthorized and usually poor quality illegal bootleg CDs" are rife in Germany and several other countries. These harm "both the industry and purchasers of inferior product," the statement on his homepage says.

However, it noted that the aim is to target commercial sellers rather than individuals selling isolated CDs from their own collection.

The statement further noted that the case in point could have been settled at minimal cost if the woman had not encouraged Clapton's lawyers to sue her.

"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 read.

Once the facts of the case emerged, Clapton decided to take no further action and not to recover the costs awarded to him by the court.

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