On Sat, 21 Jun 1997, Sam Brooks wrote:
> >> >I am curious what people are paying for majordomo services. Ie. if you are
> >> This is illegal to talk about, as it can be construed as 'price fixing'. In
> >That statement is one of the most ludricous, I've ever heard and believe
> >me, I've heard some really ludricous ones in my time.
> Rather than get embroiled in a "my dad can whup your dad" kinda argument,
> may I suggest that list members hustle their browsers over to the website
> of the HTML Writers Guild at http://www.hwg.org
> in particular go to http://www.hwg.org/lists/rules.htm#5
> In a nutshell, price discussions are verboten on their mailing lists.
> Surely, some corporate attorney put a bug in someone's ear about
> the possibility of "price fixing" litigation. I do believe that
> the term for such activity is known as risk management.
If this is a verboten subject on certain mailing lists, that is their
right. I don't know what direction their discussion was taking nor what
bug some corporate attorney put in their ear. It has nothing to do with
the discussion here, however.
The fact that someone asks how much another charges for something and
others reply, discussing the issue is not "price fixing." Deliberate
machinations to keep others from raising or lower prices is. Discussion of
it isn't. Like I said, I'd be honored to be sued for discussing this
subject. I guarantee, I could get enough money to retire.
Neither does "risk management" have anything to with the price of tea in
China. As an umbrella term, perhaps, it might be applied to the "not
wanting" to discuss the issue just in case some stupid lawyer tried to
make a name for himself, but nothing else.
The term "risk management" is fairly self-explanatory. It is the science
(if you will) of "minimizing risks", normally used by businesses who want
to limit the possibility of losses due to suits. Whether the suits be
frivolous or with merit, they still cost the business much dinero in legal
Could someone be sued for discussing the issue, possibly. I can also sue
"your mama" because I don't like her hair color. It might offend my
sensibility and cause me grevious pshycological harm. It doesn't mean my
lawsuit has merit or that I could possibly win either. It certainly
doesn't make your mother's hair color illegal.
I stand by and will never withdraw my statement when I said, someone
else's statement that was "illegal to discuss what others charged for
lists" or anything else simply and utterly ludricious.
> This is a big group, something like 50,000 members. Mucho resources.
> Why do you think they are frightened?
For the reasons I just set out. Becuase they have money and rescources,
they're a target. They wish to minimize their risks. Sure someone COULD
sue them, but that doesn't make it illegal.
The statement that such discussion is illegal is what I said was
ludricous. I said nothing about whether it was prudent. That's another
issue altogether, though I had have to say I see nothing unprudent about
general discussion of it either.
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