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An individual whose website is offering a searchable list of American banks' routing numbers receives a DMCA notice from the American Bankers' Association, claiming copyright in those numbers
Greg Thatcher runs a website that provides a variety of information and services. One of those is, or was, an alphabetized list of the routing numbers associated with American banks. If you've ever had to make a wire transfer, or set up on-line payments from your bank account, you've used one of these numbers, each of which is unique to a particular bank. It's the other long number on your checks that isn't your account number
Thatcher got these routing numbers from a federal government website , as in fact anyone still can. He first began providing them on his website in 2005
Given that the numbers are available from the Federal Reserve, it was therefore to Thatcher's great surprise when he received this DMCA notice
Sent by a law firm representing the American Bankers Association, ("ABA") the letter requested that Thatcher remove the numbers from his website because they were violating the copyright in those numbers held by the ABA
A search of the U.S. Copyright Office records reveals that the ABA does indeed have a registered copyright in what is described as the key to the routing numbers, with the most recent entry at 2012 ( http://cocatalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?v1=57&ti=51,57&Search_Arg=routing%20numbers&Search_Code=FT*&CNT=25&PID=ps_HRgBR2Rg-OnuCuOTD6EM6T2_i&SEQ=20130627164332 )
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