Eight things comprise the Association of Authors Representatives' Code of Ethics. These things are specifically listed because there are so-called agents who use fraud to play on the hopes of aspiring authors. These agents steal thousands of dollars from individual writers and give genuine agents a bad name. Because of the educational endeavors of author groups such as Romance Writers of America, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America, writers are weary of scams.
So why did Harlequin Enterprises think they could pull one over on us? By us I mean the writing community. Why did they think they were above the most basic ethical principles? Did they think RWA, SFWA, and MWA would sit by and let them prey on the dreams of writers? Did they think that educated authors were just going to sit by and not warn others? Of course RWA is going to issue alerts. Of course writers are going to be up in arms. These are not new games. All that is new is that a formerly reputable publisher is now playing them (or giving them the benefit of the doubt, are being forced to play them by their parent company).
I am proud and grateful to belong to an organization like RWA, and one day hope to qualify for membership to SFWA. I am hopeful that now that Harlequin's actions have seen the light of day, they will wither and die and this won't affect future RWA conferences.
Now onto other things, like what do to after Horizons is removed and Carina, Harlequin's new epub imprint, still exists. RWA Nationals will be interesting.