RWA's Antitrust Statement
A Labor Union's goal is to protect the rights of the workers.
A Trade Association works to advance the interests of the business. RWA is classified by the IRS as a Trade Association 501(c)6, and its members are independent contractors, not employees.
RWA affirms the freedom of every writer to negotiate in his or her own best interests, and RWA’s policy is to comply fully and strictly with federal and state antitrust laws.
RWA’s policy is motivated by a firm respect and belief in the free market philosophy underlying antitrust laws, and in recognition of the potentially severe criminal and civil penalties for antitrust violations.
Full compliance with the antitrust laws is a requirement for participation in RWA programs, and responsibility for compliance rests with each Member and/or participant.
RWA, its committees, its Members, and other program participants are prohibited from:
- Collectively agreeing to fix or set prices or terms for selling works, products or services;
- Collectively agreeing not to deal with or to boycott certain suppliers, authors, publishers, or others, or to deal with such persons only on certain terms and conditions; and
- Conspiring to exclude competitors, customers, or publishers from the market.
Participants in RWA meetings have an obligation to terminate any discussion, seek legal counsel’s advice, or, if necessary, terminate any meeting if the discussion might be construed to raise any antitrust risks.
Summary of Antitrust Dos and Don’ts
The following are some of the most critical “Dos and Don’ts” for antitrust compliance as related to participation in RWA activities:
- DON’T discuss or share company or author-specific prices, commission rates, royalty rates, advances, fees or other rates (collectively “prices”), or any other specific terms with the goal of affecting (raising, lowering, or stabilizing) prices – e.g., discounts, costs, terms and conditions of sale, or profit margins. A price-fixing violation may be inferred from price-related discussions followed by parallel decisions on pricing by RWA Members – even without an oral or written agreement on prices.
- DON’T agree with RWA Members as to uniform terms of sale or contract provisions.
- DON’T agree with RWA Members not to deal with or to boycott certain suppliers, customers, authors, publishers, or others, or to deal with such persons only on certain terms or conditions.
- DO insist that RWA meetings have agendas that are circulated in advance, and that minutes of all meetings properly reflect the actions taken at the meeting. All RWA meetings generally should have written agendas prepared and circulated in advance.
- DO leave any meeting (formal or informal) where improper subjects are being or will be discussed.
- DO seek legal advice if you have questions about the antitrust laws or your responsibilities under these laws.