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55-year-old German widow ordered to pay Eric Clapton’s legal fees for listing bootleg CD on eBay

Eric Clapton
(Image credit: Gareth Cattermole/Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

A Düsseldorf court has ruled that a woman who listed a bootleg Eric Clapton live CD on eBay for must pay Clapton’s legal fees after the blues guitar legend sued successfully for copyright infringement, German newspaper Bild reports.

The defendant, referred to as Gabriele P. is a 55-year-old woman from Rantingen near Düsseldorf, who listed the two-CD recording titled Eric Clapton: Live USA on eBay for €9.95 in July, before being slapped with a lawsuit by Slowhand. 

The court initially sided with Clapton - who is reported to have supplied an affidavit confirming that the recordings were illegal. This ruling led to an appeal, with Gabriele P. claiming that she did not know that selling the CD was a copyright infringement and that the CD was originally purchased by her late husband in 1987 from a well-known department store.

Eric Clapton Live USA

(Image credit: Live & Alive)

Despite her appeal, the judge ruled that Gabriele P.’s defence is irrelevant, issuing an injunction ruling that she must pay both her and Clapton’s legal costs, which Bild reports totals around €3,400. The injunction also forbids the woman from continuing to attempt to sell the CD, with a possible €250,000 fine or a six-month prison sentence if the order is ignored. 

This is the latest in a string of controversial headlines for Clapton, who earlier this year released anti-vax song, This Has Gotta Stop, and went on to donate £1000 to anti-vaxination music project, Jam For Freedom.

Many of Clapton’s peers have spoken out against his views on vaccination, with Brian May telling The Independent, “I love Eric Clapton, he’s my hero, but he has very different views from me in many ways.

He’s a person who thinks it’s OK to shoot animals for fun, so we have our disagreements, but I would never stop respecting the man. Anti-vax people, I’m sorry, I think they’re fruitcakes.” 

Meanwhile, Robert Cray publicly severed his 35-year ties with Clapton, saying “I’d just rather not associate with somebody who’s on the extreme and being so selfish”.