Campaign for Digital Rights
Buying a new CD? Watch out for inferior imitations Tuesday December 18, 2018

Please note that these CD campaign pages have been frozen as of 14-1-2005, and will not be updated for the time being. However, they will still remain here as an information resource for people still encountering problems with their CDs.

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Corrupt audio discs, aka "Copy-Protected CDs"

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For Leafletting Volunteers

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Guidelines for leafletters

Remember firstly that this is a PEACEFUL leafletting campaign, and that it is important to be POLITE and REASONABLE with anyone who might have some objection to you being there! There should be very few problems with what we are planning, but please read the notes below to get an idea of where you stand.

On the day, our immediate aim in distributing these leaflets is to make members of the public aware of these new CDs and their implications, especially people who are likely to consider buying a CD that day. For that reason we are aiming to distribute leaflets close by major record stores.

The other aims should lead naturally on from that - media attention, greater public awareness of the EUCD, and a wider knowledge of Dmitry's case.

Incidentally, these notes are based on discussions that came up on the CDR free-sklyarov-uk mailing list.

Possible problems and how to deal with them

In public spaces (most pavements, for instance) you are fully entitled to leaflet in a peaceful manner, so long as you aren't causing an obstruction. If the Police approach, discuss the situation with them in a friendly manner, at the same time being clear about what you're there to do. (Someone suggested saying "Yes, sir, officer" a lot). You should be able to work something out. They'd much prefer to be dealing with people who are reasonable and who don't look like they're planning to do anything unexpected.

In private spaces (shopping malls, and some walkways and other areas), you can be asked to move on by security guards or a manager. In this case, use the nearest bit of public space instead, or else you will be trespassing.

If a shop manager doesn't like what you're doing close to his/her shop, there is nothing he/she can do about it. However if things get unpleasant, back off. It's not worth the hassle. 20 yards away you can hand out just as many leaflets, or you could just move on to the next target shop.

In fact, I think it might be worth giving people a few yards to start reading the leaflet before they reach the shop in any case. It's up to you.

Note that this is only a rough overview of the situation. For a more complete assessment, please READ THIS POST from the CDR mailing list, which covers many more points. This will be especially useful for groups planning a larger protest.

Engaging the public

We were discussing on the mailing list how to avoid people dropping your leaflet as soon as they get around the corner. My experience trying the leaflet on a few people was actually the opposite, them saying "Can it keep it?". But in any case, it may help to say "Would you like a leaflet?" or something similar to differentiate yourself from leafletters for shops or restaurants or whatever.

In THIS POST Jim Farrand explains some more leafletting techniques, including having a prepared `soundbite' to say when offering someone a leaflet. The post is well worth reading.

Others suggested that having a placard attracts attention, and people may approach you to see what it is all about. For instance, in London, people kept asking "Who is Dmitry?". You could try something like "NO NEW CD! NO EUCD!" or "NO to the NEW CD! NO to the EUCD!". If anyone has any other ideas for CD-related placard slogans, let me have them and I'll add them here.

Related T-shirts, silly hats, and other strange clothing might also get attention, but I'll leave this to your judgement and taste!

For those who haven't been following all of this in detail, it might be useful to read one or two of the web articles on this subject in order to have a bit more background in case people ask questions.

Costs of printing leaflets

I've rung around a few copy-shops locally (Birmingham), and it seems that you can get 500 single-sided A5 flyers copied for 12-15 pounds, or 500 double-sided A5 for 23-25 pounds. Going up to 2000 copies, it comes out at around 45 pounds single-sided, 75 pounds double-sided. Splitting costs amongst a group of people seems like a good idea.

Some shops preferred 2-up originals (2xA5 on A4), others preferred A4 originals (possibly because some shops print 2-up straight to A4 and then use a guillotine). Lead times also varied. One said that they can usually do a batch of 2000 double-sided A5 on the same day, whereas another quoted 3-4 days. It clearly varies significantly!

As to how many to print, all I can give as a guide is the number that were handed out at the last London protest. Over the period of 2-3 hours with 2-3 people handing out flyers full time, we got through 1000. If anyone can give any other useful estimates, let me know and I'll add them here.

So, it's up to you how many you print, and which leaflets, but watch you don't leave it too late!

Which shops to target

We are aiming to target the major chains, such as HMV and Virgin. These are better targets than say Woolworths, because they have all their sales coming from music and video. We need them to start sending panic signals up to head office, and encourage the organisation as a whole to start to use its weight.

Targetting smaller or independent record shops is much less useful, because they have very little power to change anything, whereas the big chains have enormous buying power with the distributors and record companies, and as someone pointed out, they are in fact often owned or strongly associated with record companies in any case.

Despite the apparent size and power of these huge media companies (the record industry, video, or whatever), they have one fatal weakness, and that is that they are dependent on sales of their products for revenue. If we upset their sales, that is something that they have to do something about.

Local newspapers

If you feel like it, why not give your local newspaper a ring and tell them what you're doing? They will often report anything even vaguely interesting. This is another way we could reach a lot of people locally. There may be other local media organisations you could contact as well, but I'll leave this to your judgement.

Additional ideas

Posting leaflets on notice boards in relevant places can be very effective. It might also be worth leaving some leaflets in places where CD buyers might pick one up. A local music library might be concerned enough about the issue to post a leaflet for you, or even distribute a few copies.

Anything else I've not covered?

If there is anything else that I haven't covered, please E-mail me and I'll get it added.

Cheers -