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For what it's worth, nothing I've ever seen on this listserv, or at any GNSI meeting for that mater, has ever looked remotely like collusion. The pricing discussions we've had (and which I personally appreciate immensely) are more like group therapy sessions. Something along the lines of: "yes, it's OK for you to make enough money to live on. I know you enjoy your work, but that doesn't mean you have to do it for free. What you do does have value. True, you are an artist, but you don't really have to starve yourself. Self inflicted suffering is not actually a professional requirement."

Jeremy Stoller
Senior Graphic Artist
California Science Center
(213) 744-2532
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www.CaliforniaScienceCenter.org

> ----------
> From:         SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- on behalf of Clara R. Simpson
> Reply To:     SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration-
> Sent:         Wednesday, May 5, 2004 9:12 AM
> To:   [log in to unmask]
> Subject:      Re: Pricing Question
> 
> Dear All-
> 
> As your President, and keeper of legalities, I am hoping that we can
> all <be sensible> and be aware in our discussion that collusion is
> not either taking place or looking-like taking place. Take it
> off-list if need be.
> 
> Gail points out that prices vary all over the country.
> 
> I like the statement Frank quoted below from Roberta's posting (and
> it reflects on why we like to meet in one-restaurant towns!).
> 
> Just be sensible, otherwise there really will be rules and a
> rule-keeper. The Guild cannot afford to pay for a rule-keeper, and
> Lana doesn't have time to be one. She is too busy helping Jaynie with
> Williamsburg.
> 
> Why not take up this informal info-sharing in actual time, over a
> beer, the week of 3 July (...if we can agree on a restaurant...) Much
> safer.
> 
> 
> -Clara
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> >They know artists couldnít collude to go to a restaurant." He
> >knows his subject.
> >
> >-frank
> 
> 
> >
> >According to U.S. anti-trust law, a group of competitors can't get together
> >and "collude" to set standard prices. Since most of us are independent
> >contractors (as far as our freelance work is concerned), we all essentially
> >compete with one another.
> >
> >As I understand it, it's OK for two people to get together informally and
> >discuss pricing. But it's not OK for an organization to facilitate
> >widespread price fixing. This is considered collusion. The only exception
> >is a trade union where members can set standard prices and engage in
> >collective bargaining.
> >
> >You could make the argument that the GNSI is facilitating price fixing by
> >allowing people to use this listserv to collude on prices. This could get
> >the GNSI in hot water with the FTC. The AMI listserv prohibits discussion
> >of prices and price strategies specifically for this reason. I'm not aware
> >of any GNSI policy about this, but it's something to think about.
> >
> >The Graphic Artists Guild, on the other hand, can get away with publishing
> >"standard" prices (in their Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines)
> >because they are organized as a trade union. At least, that's what I heard
> >recently.
> >
> >Jim
> 
>