Nobody riffs on Eric Clapton — least of all bootleggers.
As one widow just learned, Clapton doesn’t take too kindly to anyone profiting off of his music — not even just $11. The Cream guitarist has won a copyright infringement case against a woman in Germany who attempted to sell a burned copy of a Clapton concert recorded in the 1980s. DW reported that she copied the work from a CD purchased at a department store by her late husband in 1987.
The 55-year-old woman from Ratingen was selling the ripped disc on eBay for €9.95, or about $11.25. Minus shipping and eBay’s share of the sale — that’s a cut of 14.55% plus 30 cents off the sale price on music (excluding vinyl) — she stood to make an estimated $9.30.
The defendant told a Düsseldorf regional court that she had no idea that what she was doing was illegal and appealed the injunction. Her appeal was denied, however, and she’ll have to pay approximately €3,400 ($3,840) to cover legal fees for both parties. Should she make another attempt to cell the CD, she’ll face fines of up to €250,000 ($282,840) or six months in prison.
It’s far from the first time the 76-year-old has suggested he’s the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s foremost curmudgeon. Last year, Clapton emerged as an outspoken opponent of public health measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. He decried state-mandated lockdowns during outbreaks and refused to perform in venues where the unvaccinated are barred from entry.
So inspired was Clapton by anti-vaxxer rhetoric that he collaborated with fellow singer and dissident Van Morrison on a song, “Stand and Deliver,” which includes the thinly veiled protest lyric, “Do you wanna be a free man … Or do you wanna be a slave?”
And earlier this year, the “Change the World” singer also reportedly donated £1,000 ($1,360) to an online fundraiser for the boycott band Jam For Freedom, from the United Kingdom, to help cover fines they incurred after breaching pandemic safety protocol at a gig.