On the pricing of the tapes

11 March 2000

Ever since 11 November 1996, NOT BORED! has been selling dirt-cheap copies of two situationist films -- Guy Debord's La Societe du Spectacle and Rene Vienet's La Dialectique, Peut Elle Cassez les Briques? both made in 1973 -- that a filmmaker named Keith Sanborn subtitled and released as videotapes, in 1995 and 1990, respectively. As we made clear at the outset, we only got involved in making and selling second-generation copies of these tapes because of Sanborn's cynical and manipulative greed. Before we arrived on the scene, Sanborn had been selling his subtitled versions for $30 and up, thus keeping them out of the reach of poor people and small infoshops. (He also had been refusing to sell copies to people he deemed too stupid or uninformed to understand them, despite the fact that he had not been given permission from either Debord or Vienet to release their respective films as subtitled videotapes.) To break up Sanborn's monopoly on distribution, we priced our second-generation copies at $5 each ($10 if shipped to somewhere outside the USA). We lost no money doing this, and indeed made a little over a dollar per tape, for it costs about $2 for a blank cassette and $1.87 to mail it to an address in the USA.

Our strategy worked. Over the course of the last three years, we have sold hundreds of copies of these videotapes to people all over the world; these videotapes, despite being second-generation copies, were of sufficient quality that they themselves could be copied, which means that anyone to whom we've sold a tape could become, in his or her turn, a "distributor" of it. Indeed, we have been so successful that Sanborn himself has stopped trying (or stopped advertizing his efforts) to sell his "original" copies for $30 each. His monopoly on distribution is over. Hurrah!

And so now we feel free to raise our prices to a level more appropriate to the new situation, that is, more responsive to the fact that it is a fucking drag to make all these copies one-at-a-time on two VCRs. Not to mention the fact that all this copying and rewinding has worn out our VCRs and that we will shortly have to purchase new ones, thereby wiping out whatever "profits" we've made over the years. From now on, each copy of these videotapes will be priced at $10 (for domestic orders) and $15 (for international orders). Thanks for understanding.



To Contact Us:
ISSN 1084-7340.
Snail mail: POB 1115, Stuyvesant Station, New York City 10009-9998