Campaign for Digital Rights
Buying a new CD? Watch out for inferior imitations Tuesday January 25, 2022

The Campaign for Digital Rights campaigns for fair and balanced laws for the information society.

We support:

We are a group of citizens who are concerned about control over digital media. In particular, we are worried about proposed laws, regulations and technological systems that will make digital media more expensive, less useful, less diverse and less democratic.

What sort of issues does the CDR campaign about?

  • Music. The companies that shut down Napster are making CDs that cannot be used in computers. This will make portable digital music devices such as Apple's iPod useless. The EUCD will make programs that try to read such crippled CDs illegal.

  • Video. Digital television will replace conventional television in the next few years. With it will come technology and law that will make it impossible to record certain programs. Or to skip adverts. Again, the EUCD will make it illegal to try to get round these systems.

  • DVDs and computer games. This month, a small company that modified the PlayStation 2 to play imported games and DVDs was prosecuted and driven out of business by Sony. Region-free DVD players may be next.

  • Internet. Feel like having someone's website removed? Just write to their ISP alleging that they've infringed your copyright! You don't have to prove anything or go to court, and there's no penalty for lying. The ISP will be obliged to remove the website even if its owner has done nothing wrong. This will happen, frequently, if the EUCD becomes law.

  • Academic freedom. Last year, a Russian went to the United States to present a paper on cryptography. He was arrested, because the paper described how to read certain kinds of electronic book. After a huge public furore, the charges were dropped and he was allowed home. His employer in Russia still faces charges in California. The EUCD will ban unauthorised reading of electronic books.

  • Public Libraries. How are libraries going to rise to the challenge of making digital information freely available to the public? If certain big copyright owning companies have their way, they won't be able to lend out digital media. The "digital divide" between rich and poor will grow as digital media becomes more expensive, unless libraries are allowed to bridge it.

How can I help CDR?

We are working together with industry, academics, the Foundation for Information Policy Research ( and similar organisations throughout Europe (see EDRi). We are looking for volunteers to assist in lobbying Parliament, raising awareness and gathering support throughout the country.

Most of the discussion regarding the Campaign takes place on our mailing lists. Archives are available: main list, announcement only list.