Glam rock group The Sweet face a $77,400 (£50,000) legal bill following a failed attempt to sue a fan who tried to sell one of their compact discs on eBay for $3 (£2).
Dietmar Huber, of Austria, put an apparent pirate recording of song The Legend Lives On up for sale on the online auction website and was issued a letter by a German lawyer who accused him of breaching the group's copyright, prompting a five-year legal battle.
Huber was billed $2,012 (£1,300) by the lawyer and when he refused to settle the payment, the '70s band's lawyers followed up with an injunction to stop him selling the disc and demanded $36,000 (£23,000) compensation.
Huber took the case to Vienna's high court, where officials ruled against band member Andy Scott, who originally filed the complaint.
The case was thrown out as the accused was able to prove he had legally purchased the song and verify it was not a pirated copy.
However, musician Scott took the case further but was defeated again this week (begs04Jun12) as judges agreed Huber had carried out a private sale and no crime had been committed.