Do you have scratched up CDs or DVDs that contain your favorite software, music, or movie and you can't read it anymore. Generally as long as the label (or top) side is not damaged, and the bottom only contains some surface scratches then you might be able to recover the information using this technique. (Note: Make sure to read the comments, it contains some additional suggestions and information.)
This is one of those tricks that is going to be a 'use at your own risk'. Your results will vary. Also note that I have not validated this method, but if your desperate to recover the information off the media I would suggest giving this trick a shot. Finally, If you're able to recover the data off the media, I would transfer it to another disk as soon as possible. Then I would avoid using that disk again.