Campaign for Digital Rights
Buying a new CD? Watch out for inferior imitations Saturday November 18, 2017

Now we've had all the reports in from Saturday's leafletting, I can put together our summary:

             Leaflets   People
  Birmingham   1200       2
  Brighton      500       3      Local press coverage
  Cambridge     500       5      Support from small record shops
  Edinburgh    2000       6
  Glasgow       500       1
  Leeds         500+      3      Support from 2nd hand record shops
  London       1250+      6      Press coverage, very busy
  Rugby         800+      2      Support from small record shops

So, in total, we had 28 people on the job, spread over eight cities, and we distributed well over 7000 leaflets. A great success, I think !

Many leafletters were surprised at how interested the public were in the subject, and how little persuasion was needed to get them to take a leaflet and start reading it - the issue is certainly something that people care strongly about. There was also a lot of positive feedback.

One leafletter reported:

"We had many interesting discussions with people aged 15 to around 60. Everyone was surprised, annoyed or disbelieving about what the record companies were up to. There was an undeniable amount of interest - most people have CDs and most people love music."

A significant number of people also mentioned that they have been having trouble with new CDs in some machines recently, but that they didn't know what the problem was, and so didn't report it. This suggests that the manufacturer's claims that everything is fine because there was no increase in the return rate for these CDs are rather baseless.

In several locations, leafletters found that smaller record shops were supportive of the campaign, and were even willing to put leaflets on the counter for customers to pick up. These shops demonstrated an awareness that these CDs are bad for the customer, and also bad for their business.

One leafletter encountered someone from a record company:

"The most fun part of the day was when I gave a leaflet to a woman who works in the record industry. She got a bit upset! She claimed the new CDs didn't have lower sound quality, I then told her about the report from the BBC Sound Engineer - she wanted his name, as she knows quite a few of them! She walked off when I asked her whether messing with the error correction would make the CD less durable :-)"

Several leafletters reported that they have leaflets left over, and that they are considering leafletting other areas at a later date. We hope that wider public awareness of this issue will expose the underhand tactics of the manufacturers, and lead to a recall of the faulty CDs and much improved labelling in future.

Author: Jim Peters <>