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Discussion of pricing

Robert Birnbaum rb68 at UMAIL.UMD.EDU
Wed Sep 24 11:03:02 EST 1997

I have been following the increasingly sharp discussion of 
pricing, and I located the following statement on 

"The use of this newsgroup for commercial advertising is strictly 
prohibited. Members not affiliated with a commerical organization are 
encouraged to share their thoughts about one product or another. Those 
persons who are affiliated with a commercial organization are strongly 
encouraged to refrain from marketing one's own product or defaming 
another organization's product. Our charter with the BIONET/BIOSCI 
administration strictly prohibits such behavior and an abuse of it may 
jeopordize our membership within this organization. We highly encourage 
persons affiliated with commerical oganizations to comment and provide 
suggestions when questions arrive in the newsgroup concerning one's own 

This statement would appear to prohibit the listserv from being used 
for commercial purposes, but to permit discussion of prices or 
pricing policies which are unrelated to attempts to sell one's own 

Perhaps the statement above is not the one to which those 
concerned about discussing pricing have referred, or perhaps there 
are additional statements other than the above that specifically 
prohibit the discussion of prices.  If so, I hope that the correct 
or additional statements can be published on this listserv so that 
everyone understands whatever constraints on communication which 
may exist. 

If in fact the charter of this group explicitly states that 
hearing aid prices and pricing are not allowed to be discussed on 
this newsgroup, then members should either abide by it or try to 
change the charter.   But if the charter merely prohibits the use 
of the list for commercial purposes, then non-commercial 
discussion of professional pricing practices and policies would 
appear to be acceptable.

A clear statement of the specific wording of the charter in this 
regard might help clear the air.

Bob Birnbaum
rb68 at umail.umd.edu

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