The discussion on shared information is interesting. I would guess that most people were compensated for their work in the past. Beckett and such certainly didn't give out free information, at least before the website. Maybe early on, the checklists compiled were done so as a community and were free to that community. I am not sure, as I was not involved in the early days (Burdick, etc).
The internet has certainly made it much easier to find information, and often "free", but someone still has to put in the time and effort and often time there is a greater cost too. Often times it is a shred effort though, like a wikipedia type situation.
In order to find variations or even to discover a checklist w/o help, funds are likely spent on product enough to gather that needed information. I know that I have done some small research projects on my own that required me to purchase a great deal of something to figure out what I was looking for. These were not mainstream items that were widely collected, so I didn't bother to share my knowledge at the time or subsequently. Someday I might, although I doubt anyone would pay for it if I tried to sell it. I also didn't ask for any help either, but may have benefited had I asked.