I'm a little behind on cardboard news this week, so this may be old news. But it looks like hobby dinosaur/block bully Beckett is now suing Zistle over checklists.
It's not too surprising. Beckett has been trying to do the same to COMC after Beckett decided to abruptly end their partnership after COMC said they weren't interested in selling the entire company to Beckett. And then a few months Beckett, hobby giant and destroyer of worlds, started offering a bounty for anyone who sniffed out a site that was using their oh so precious checklists.
From the legal analysis in the article, it appears that Beckett may not have much of a leg to stand on. After all, the checklists are by and large public information that Beckett has simply compiled over the years. And there was a time when they could do that service in ways that were tough to duplicate for the average Joe. But today, them there fancy computers make it far easier to access information. And Beckett doesn't seem to like that.
Even if the case gets tossed at some stage, I imagine sites like Zistle or baseballcardpedia may have difficulty taking on any kind of legal wrangling. COMC is a fairly large, for profit business. They have a vested interest in fighting any legal challenge. While I'm sure smaller hobby sites may generate some ad revenue, I always viewed them as simple conveniences for collectors to connect rather than anything that was looking to reinvent the wheel.
From my perspective, Beckett looks pretty desperate. It's pretty clear the hobby has moved past them in just about every facet but grading. Sites like COMC and even Sportlots have passed up their Marketplace in terms of both selection, quality, and most definitely shipping price. Print magazines? Not exactly all the rage these days.
Maybe Beckett hopes they can turn the clock back to 1997 by shutting down as many hobby-related sites as possible. Perhaps they're just desperately hoping to score a couple paydays in damages or settlements before the ship finally sinks. Honestly, I don't really give a damn.
At this point, Beckett does far more harm to the hobby than any good they have done in the last decade. The site is a joke, and each new ownership group seems to be progressively less competent than Dr. Jim Beckett could have ever hoped to have been.
In the mean time, I'd suggest offloading your Zistle collections to Excel if you have the time.