Eric Clapton Gets Defensive About Suing Over Bootleg CD After Social Media Backlash

Eric Clapton Gets Defensive About Suing Over Bootleg CD After Social Media Backlash
Photo: Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Eric Clapton, part-time guitar player and full-time arsehole, will waive the legal fees he’s owed after a court in Germany found that a woman had tried to sell a bootleg Clapton CD on eBay. But it seems Slowhand’s hand has been forced, as it were. Clapton’s change of heart is all in response to the social media backlash surrounding his lawsuit, according to the Guardian.

Clapton sued a 55-year-old German woman who was trying to sell a bootleg Clapton CD for just €9.95, or roughly $US11.20 ($16) U.S., and was on the hook for legal fees of about €3,400 or $US3,500 ($4,859) in U.S. dollars. The unnamed woman didn’t even sell the CD, she just listed it for sale on eBay.

But Clapton’s management company, appropriately called Eric Clapton Management, issued a statement on Wednesday calling press reports about the case “misleading” and whining that Germany is a country where “poor-quality illegal bootleg CDs are rife.”

“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,” Clapton’s management company said in statement published online.

“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items from a personal collection, if following receipt of a ‘cease and desist’ letter the offending items are withdrawn, any costs would be minimal, or might be waived,” the company continued.

Whether it was their intention or not, they sued a woman who was selling a bootleg CD of a live Clapton concert from the 1980s — a woman who by all accounts wasn’t some kind of “active bootlegger manufacturing unauthorised copies.”

The company says sales of bootleg CDs “harms both the industry and purchasers of inferior product,” though it offered no evidence of this, and the millions of people who’ve sat through shitty live phone recordings of their favourite band on YouTube would beg to differ.

Clapton’s management company stressed that the guitarist doesn’t have much involvement in the lawsuits and then went on to blame the legal proceedings on the woman he sued.

“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,” Clapton’s management company wrote.

The statement dragged on:

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 herself incur any further costs.

Clapton, the British-born guitarist and anti-vaxxer who wrote an entire song about how he’s being oppressed by covid-19 lockdowns, has a long history as a far-right prick. In fact, British musicians organised an entire music festival called Rock Against Racism in 1976 in response to Clapton’s racism.

Just how racist was Clapton in the 1970s? More racist than you can probably even imagine.

“Stop Britain from becoming a black colony. Get the foreigners out. Get the wogs out. Get the coons out. Keep Britain white. I used to be into dope, now I’m into racism. It’s much heavier, man. Fucking wogs, man. Fucking Saudis taking over London. Bastard wogs,” Clapton said at a British concert in 1976, among many other things.

But at least this Baby Boomer prick is waiving some poor woman’s legal fees. What a hero.