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Eric Clapton successfully sues 55-year-old German widow for listing bootleg CD on eBay for $11

Eric Clapton performs live at Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park at Hyde Park on July 8, 2018 in London, England
(Image credit: Samir Hussein/Getty Images)

A 55-year-old German widow – named in reports as Gabriele P. – has reportedly been mandated to pay for court costs for both herself and Eric Clapton, after the electric guitar player successfully sued her over the sale of a live bootleg CD on eBay.

According to the German newspaper Bild (opens in new tab), the bootleg, Live USA (opens in new tab), was purchased by the defendant's late husband at a department store more than 30 years ago. Gabriele then went on to list the album on eBay for €9.95 (~$11) in July, after which Clapton – citing the illegal nature of the album – sent the court an affidavit.

The Düsseldorf Regional Court ruled in Clapton's favor, and yesterday (December 15) rejected (opens in new tab) Gabriele P's appeal on the initial ruling, saying that the facts that she neither bought the CD herself initially nor knew, at the time she listed it on eBay, that it was a bootleg, were immaterial.  

Gabriele P. now reportedly faces either a €250,000 fine or six-month prison sentence if she continues her efforts to sell the album.

It's not the first time in recent months that Slowhand has found himself in the news for reasons other than his music.

Blues guitar veteran Robert Cray told The Washington Post (opens in new tab) back in November that he ended his 35-year friendship with Clapton over the latter's likening of COVID-19-related lockdowns to slavery in the 2020 song he recorded with Van Morrison, Stand And Deliver

“I’d just rather not associate with somebody who’s on the extreme and being so selfish,” Cray said. “We started playing a music that wasn’t particularly popular to start off with at the time we started playing. We’ve gained some notoriety, and I’m fine with that, but I surely don’t need to hang out with Eric Clapton for that to continue.”

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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player (opens in new tab). Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder (opens in new tab) and Unrecorded (opens in new tab). Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.