Law of Cards: Schedule Released for Beckett v. The Card Collector
Much to my surprise, the Beckett v. Custom Plush Production Inc.'s (aka The Card Collector) case is still plugging along.
This is the case where Beckett alleged The Card Collector accessed Beckett's pricing guides through the Beckett website and unlawfully "scraped" Beckett's copyrightable checklist and pricing data. Allegedly, The Card Collector offered Beckett's card checklists, grading and pricing data on its own website and through a CD-ROM it sold to others. The Card Collector denied Beckett's allegations and filed a counterclaim for attorneys' fees. The Card Collector also contends that Beckett's checklist and pricing data is not copyrightable.
I initially believed this case would wrap up quickly.
In fact, if you believe the parties' jointly filed proposed schedule, it might continue until next summer.
While most of the parties' proposed dates are boring (who cares when experts need to be disclosed), the interesting dates are March 27, 2015 (when the parties will file dispositive motions that will give us good insight into each party's evidence) and a proposed trial date of July 18, 2015.
While it might appear from the outside that this case is moving slowly, it's actually a fast schedule. With trial less than a year away, there's a lot for the parties (and their hourly billable attorneys) to do such as collect evidence, review the other side's evidence, conduct depositions, hire experts, prepare dispositive motions, prepare expert reports, prepare for trial, etc.
All of this will cost a lot.
Given this, regardless of the parties' posturing, this case should wrap up well before trial. There's not enough money to justify the fees and expenses to take this one to trial. And although there is a chance either side could win attorneys' fees…that's normally a long shot.
The schedule does consider a best chance for this case wrapping up on April 25, 2015, when the case is scheduled for "further settlement negotiations." This'll likely take place with a third-party mediator, who, if this case is still mistakenly going on this long, should hopefully grind on both parties and convince them to settle.
It should settle before then, however. Hopefully by November, which will give both sides a few months of attorneys' bills to pay.
The information provided in Paul Lesko's "Law of Cards" column is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information related to legal issues commonly encountered in the sports industry. This information is not intended to create any legal relationship between Paul Lesko, Simmons Hanly Conroy or any attorney and the user. Neither the transmission nor receipt of these website materials will create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the readers.
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I have used the Card Collector Software since it originated. Beckett has been trying to corner the hobby for many years!!! Every year that passes they come up with some other trick to pull on the public. I have not used Beckett Magazines since the mid 90s. I use the Card Collector Software daily to this day though my last update only has pricing to 2009. I add all sets I am collecting by using the card manufacturers check list to add each set each year. Pricing, if your educated on sports cards at all is not very hard to determine with research. I add my own pricing. I do not understand why some are saying the can not access their cards on their card collector software. I have no issues at all. I just download my last disk purchased from TCCS with each PC I purchase thru the years. Simple to save to a file. This topic of Beckett VS TCCS is a sickening and I fail to see how any normal minded Judge could even believe that Beckett has any rights to any pricing of sports cards. The public sets the prices of products not any magazine publisher for goodness sake!! For those who believe that Beckett is not trying to corner this market just see how many other sports card publications they have purchased in the past and then you will finally understand what they have been doing for years and getting away with it. I would not put it past them to pay off the judges!