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Swedish Police Shoe Database May Tread On Copyright

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the heel-to-toe-heel-to-toe dept.

Crime 156

An anonymous reader writes "The Swedish police, who have been instrumental in various raids against file-sharing sites, may have a bit of a piracy problem on their own hands. It seems they wanted to put together a database of shoe print information for matching crime scene shoe prints to particular shoe types. To do so, they used images found online, and some Swedish copyright experts have noted that this appears to violate Swedish copyright law. The police claim there's an exception for police investigations, but people (and some shoe companies) are pointing out that creating a database isn't about an investigation."

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156 comments

Sure it is! (4, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528596)

The investigations are just hypothetical and in the future!

Also, the NSA needs to spy on my phone conversations in case I ever become a terrorist. Which, I have to admit, is pretty good foresight on their part.

Re:Sure it is! (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528656)

As much as I agree with your intent, this is a lot more like having phone tapping equipment available, in the case that it is required, rather than actively tapping you.

The whole database idea seems sort of goofy to me though, can't see it being terribly effective. (how many people wear adidas superstars?)

Re:Sure it is! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528764)

Or now know to change shoes after committing a crime. Just switch in a crowded place and dump them in the trash at same crowded public place. Like stolen cars used for crime, remember to switch crime-shoes early and often.

Re:Sure it is! (4, Insightful)

dreampod (1093343) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528846)

Amongst professional criminals I'm sure that this sort of thing is common but when dealing with crimes of passion or low value crimes it becomes much more useful. After all when you own only a pair or two of shoes of a style and become a suspect, having just replaced them with brand new shoes is very suspicious. As well for something like a convenience store robbery it starts to make it even more financially worthless when you steal $50 and have to replace a $30 pair of shoes.

Re:Sure it is! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528886)

Go to the local goodwill. These places also prefer cash, which is a big advantage to those who are in that field of work.

Re:Sure it is! (1)

m2shariy (1194621) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529172)

Police does not investigate $50 crime. Anyway, steal the shoes as well and make it $80 :)

Re:Sure it is! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33531160)

Are you retarded? He said robbery. Police investigate robberies.

"As well for something like a convenience store robbery it starts to make it even more financially worthless when you steal $50 and have to replace a $30 pair of shoes."

If you rob a store the police are going to investigate, even if you get your ass beaten like a red headed stepchild and run off with nothing.

Re:Sure it is! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33529470)

After all when you own only a pair or two of shoes

No-one in Sweden has less than three pair of shoes.

Re:Sure it is! (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33530038)

Be on the lookout for person of interest in stolen Superstar tennis shoes.

Re:Sure it is! (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33531060)

After all when you own only a pair or two of shoes of a style and become a suspect, having just replaced them with brand new shoes is very suspicious.

You could buy the new shows (cheap ones) before the crime, wear them while committing it, and then get rid of them. You get to keep your old comfy shoes and the police will be thrown off on a false trail!

Re:Sure it is! (1)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529240)

Or now know to change shoes after committing a crime. Just switch in a crowded place and dump them in the trash at same crowded public place. Like stolen cars used for crime, remember to switch crime-shoes early and often.

And leave your DNA in shoes that match tracks at the crime scene? Might as well write a signed confession.

Re:Sure it is! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529646)

Clearly you watch too much CSI and not enough real life. After you commit your crime and the police get to this location the garbage will be at the dump for days.

Re:Sure it is! (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529716)

Enhance, enhance [youtube.com] !

Re:Sure it is! (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#33530522)

Or know to change shoes after committing a crime. Just switch in a crowded place and dump them in the trash at same crowded public place.

Dumpster-diving is part of the job.

The need to ditch something quickly limits your options.

If someone sees you carrying an extra pair of shoes at seven o'clock - and your bag is empty at seven-thirty - you have something to explain.

The geek shouldn't turn his mind to crime. He over-complicates things.

Re:Sure it is! (2, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528850)

As much as I agree with your intent, this is a lot more like having phone tapping equipment available, in the case that it is required, rather than actively tapping you.

Er, well, neither really applies. They are actually collecting data, but it's data regarding a type of forensics, not data related to any individuals. It's more like figuring out how one might go about tapping phones.

It's really not a civil liberties issue like warrant-less phone tapping is. I was just riffing on the idea of claiming you need the data for "an investigation" when there's no such specific investigation, just hypothetical future ones. :)

The whole database idea seems sort of goofy to me though, can't see it being terribly effective. (how many people wear adidas superstars?)

I can think of cases where being able to identify the type of shoe that made a print would be helpful, especially if it helps tie a particular suspect to the scene. A print made by a work boot that's standard issue at the company a suspect works for could be a good bit of evidence. A print made by a shoe so common it could be made by anyone is not so good. But it's better to know that than have it be unknown if the print could mean anything or not.

Re:Sure it is! (3, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529178)

As much as I oppose anything that strengthens the police state (any police state really) I feel compelled to point something out. Shoeprints being part of a future police investigation is about as hypothetical as my claim that should I throw a rock in the air it will fall back down.

The volume of previous observations that can be found by searching through police files where shoe prints were in evidence is pretty substantial.

Re:Sure it is! (1)

Quothz (683368) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529596)

Shoeprints being part of a future police investigation is about as hypothetical as my claim that should I throw a rock in the air it will fall back down.

I think you're misunderstanding the point. Jurisprudence does not, in general, recognize a future hypothetical case as being equal to a current actual case, regardless of the likelihood (the exception, it seems, being American 9th Circuit lawsuits against future John Doe copyright violators, but that's not jurisprudence so much as an unholy cross between corruption, politics, and insanity). To permit otherwise would be akin to allowing police to use investigative powers for any imaginary future purpose, and nobody wants that, except police.

The correct answer is for the police to ask nicely. I honestly can't imagine more than a bare handful of shoemakers would deny them a limited license to make use of the prints for internal investigative purposes. I'm not sure about Swedish law, but in most places fancy-pants lawyerese isn't even needed; just a "sure, use our prints for that purpose, signed, authority person" letter on record. No need to adjust the laws when any decent administrator armed with Internet access, a handful of stamps, and a printer can solve the problem.

Re:Sure it is! (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529758)

I don't know enough about Judicial precedent in Sweden to argue the point to be honest.

Here in the US courts have an odd habit of throwing out usual practice and technicalities if they don't pass the smell test. If investigations are exempt from copyright restrictions and the supposedly has a likelihood of being used entirely for investigations on par with likelihood of the existence of gravity a judge is likely to toss any argument saying that likelihood is hypothetical out as nonsense. Especially for the police. In the US courts (which are supposed to be impartial) tend to favor whichever party has a larger financial influence vs a smaller one and government over non-government and so on progressively up the food chain.

For example, if an individual uses legal instruments like trusts that can be drawn up without red tape and fees to gain any form of upper hand. The court will usually look at the bottom line as if none of that paperwork exists and see if there is a tangible exchange of money. If a bank does the same thing moving money around in 'accounts' on their books even though the money never leaves their bottom line and they never stop drawing interest, the court is likely to rule in their favor rather than according to their bottom line.

In this case, a US court would be looking for any excuse to find your attack on the police to be nonsense and defend law enforcement. After all the impartial judge is on the same team as the police.

Re:Sure it is! (2, Funny)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 3 years ago | (#33530140)

Jurisprudence does ... in general ... recognize a future hypothetical case ... as ... lawsuits against ... copyright violators ... [A]n unholy cross between corruption, politics, and insanity ... permit... police to use ... powers for any ... purpose.

The correct answer is ... just ... a ... person ... armed... can solve the problem.

Re:Sure it is! (2, Insightful)

opposabledumbs (1434215) | more than 3 years ago | (#33531092)

For me, the issue here is the use of copyright law to stop this. I don't see why the police would have to get a copyright exemption for the creation of a database, as they are not planning to make or sell shoes with similar patterns.

As far as I can see it, this is research of an academic nature. Now, if people want to go after the police here in a civil liberties and person's rights issue - and I don't think there's an issue with these in this case anyway, because I don't see how the shoes you wear now, or may buy in the future, are unique enough to qualify as rights-qualifying - then that's fine. But copyright this is manifestly not.

Re:Sure it is! (1)

JumpDrive (1437895) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528858)

The whole database idea seems sort of goofy to me though, can't see it being terribly effective. (how many people wear adidas superstars?)
Obviously , you haven't been watching CSI.

Re:Sure it is! (2, Funny)

internettoughguy (1478741) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528940)

I can't see why they don't just build a Visual Basic GUI that downloads the images as they are needed.

Re:Sure it is! (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528902)

So you think the police can just steal phone tapping equipment? I do believe they have to buy it, like they would with these pictures. Either they are all for IP or not.

Re:Sure it is! (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529108)

If they want the information to be accurate, they should go to the source and pay the price.

However, they could certainly take the Google approach and find a way to collect the data from the public, taking pictures of shoes and asking what make/model they are.

The problem with building a database based on web images is not so much the fact that they're running afoul of copyright--I'm sure I could find an attorney who would argue fair use rules or something along those lines, since they're not selling the DB--but rather that there is no guarantee that the data is accurate. If they were to work with shoe companies and compensate them for their time, I'll be they could get a beautiful database of shoe prints, normalized and with metadata included. How much more helpful would it be if they not only had the images, but the wireframes so that they could, from a steroscopic photo of an impression, do a comparison of shapes, angles and depths to find the perfect match?

Re:Sure it is! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33530162)

More to the point, consider the lengths police go to build databases of car parts and materials. What type of paint was used on what model of car? What type of glass. I would be surprised indeed if the police had to pay for this information. Most likely the manufacturers help them as a matter of mutual interest.

Re:Sure it is! (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529284)

"The whole database idea seems sort of goofy to me though, can't see it being terribly effective. (how many people wear adidas superstars?)"

How does the police know it's that brand if they don't have a database?

Re:Sure it is! (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 3 years ago | (#33530458)

haven't you seen CSI... there really are detectives that "geeky" that they collect tire treads, foot prints, bugs, etc. just to have them handy.

This is how they look like big shots... just like hackers sit out there and collect atari 2600 roms all day. Somebody has to build these on the off chance they might have only muddy prints to follow. In reality, most violent crimes have only a few suspects... most of the time for murders and such the perp is somebody that knows the vic... making the pool of "shoes" much smaller and plenty of witnesses that can testify you really wear them.

Re:Sure it is! (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 3 years ago | (#33530938)

The cops have a saying, "check the inlaws befor the outlaws".You could go out and commit a random, onetime murder and be pretty sure of getting away with it as long as you didn't do something stupid and leave a obvious clue.

Re:Sure it is! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33530984)

Among the family and close friends of the victim, or in a group of possible suspects? I guess only a few will own Superstars.

Re:Sure it is! (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528698)

Ban this sick filth!

Re:Sure it is! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33529324)

Your consent has been noted, the taps will be installed soon. Thank you for your understanding.
 
Sincerely,
Your Government

Re:Sure it is! (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529556)

Also, the NSA needs to spy on my phone conversations in case I ever become a terrorist. Which, I have to admit, is pretty good foresight on their part.

So, you are going to become a terrorist then? Because, if it's good foresight, they're right.

Stay put, agents are on their way.

Re:Sure it is! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33529582)

Anyone with a UID under 10k is automatically a terrorist!

Re:Sure it is! (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | more than 3 years ago | (#33531026)

Which, I have to admit, is pretty good foresight on their part.

Why? You planning to become a terrorist?

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Re:Sure it is! (1)

sco08y (615665) | more than 3 years ago | (#33531278)

The investigations are just hypothetical and in the future!

But, really, what's wrong with a database of Swedish police shoes?

Slender, not broad (1)

ciaran_o_riordan (662132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528606)

When making laws about restricting the use of information, make them as narrow as possible, and broaden as necessary.

Re:Slender, not broad (5, Funny)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528888)

Well, it's gotta be a pretty small data set. I mean, how many different kinds of Swedish Police shoes can there be?

Re:Slender, not broad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33529098)

Well if the shoe fits,..........store it

Re:Slender, not broad (1)

ian_from_brisbane (596121) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529638)

2
The left one, and the right one.

SCTV sketch "Klaag" (1)

Latent Heat (558884) | more than 3 years ago | (#33530130)

I am not finding it, but I swear there was an SCTV sketch of a Swedish detective "Klaag", not armed with a gun but with a signature heel-less shoe, taking his adversary out by conking him on the head. Of course the "promo" for the TV series shows SCTV actor Joe Flaherty kicking, such shoe flying through the air, and then the would-be criminal on the ground, holding his head in pain.

The American? (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528630)

Was hunted by Swedish vendettas. Let us not forget!!!

Coming up next on... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33528778)

Unshod Mysteries.

Compilation of facts are protected (1, Insightful)

dreampod (1093343) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528816)

While I couldn't comment about how Swedish law treats such things in the United States or Canada this would be protected if the shoe prints were gathered directly rather than using online photos. A compilation of facts and details regarding the pattern and arrangement of shoe treads is definitely safe territory protected by the fact it does not inhibit the market for the original goods (unless some shoe company really wants to argue that their major clients purchase them to avoid being identified by the police), isn't for commercial gain, and does not replicate the original in any way.

Personally I would be very cautious about opposing something like this even if a literal interpretation of the law were to support this belief. Opposition to such a non-offensive, common sense proposal is likely to have governments write in specific loopholes to allow such action which could be discovered to have unintended side-effects that actually harm the business.

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528856)

It is probably the same. Taking pictures of shoes you bought or their impressions is very different from "pirating" images online for your personal gain.

Hmm, perhaps I need to start selling treadless crime-shoes.

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (2, Insightful)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529126)

Hmm, perhaps I need to start selling treadless crime-shoes.

Maybe you could get police departments to invest in them, since they'd be able to catch the perps as the slip-slide around corners during foot chases.

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529446)

Check out climbing shoes, with very soft tread you can get good grip out of what looks like a very smooth surface.

I was thinking something like that.

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (5, Insightful)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528874)

I think you missed the point. The tread isn't the issue; the pictures are copyrighted by someone. You can't go on-line, scarf a whole bunch of pictures off the web, and then use them to conduct your business.

I can't do that with images, music, or anything else, and neither can any other agency. Otherwise, I could just download all the music in the world, and claim that I am building a database for future use in identifying stolen music.

Doesn't work that way.

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (3, Interesting)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529040)

I missed the part where police forensics are a business. Furthermore, these images aren't being tossed on their website. They're being used in an internal database. It's idiotic for people to whine about this. They're not claiming copyright or publicly using it to make money on their website. It's an internal database used solely (pun intended) for matching footprints to shoe types. I think that Swedish copyright law needs some serious work if that is somehow an issue.

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33529940)

If the police want to use cars, they have to buy them. If they want uniforms, they have to pay for them. If they want physical computer hardware, they have to purchase them. I'm even guessing that they have to buy Microsoft windows (no doubt quite cheap) to run on those computers. Why should they be allowed to "steal" the hard work off of innocent companies that are just trying to make a living, just because they might use this in crime fighting later on.

Under that theory everything they have should be "acquired" for free, just because it could be used to fight crime.

The main issue I see is that they break copyright law with no consequences and then go off and arrest individuals for doing the same thing.

The law should be the law.

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33530180)

If the police want to use cars, they have to buy them.

Funny this should come up. I worked for the state government in Victoria, Australia (I know, not Sweden, not the Police) and we had an exemption from sales tax. Because of this we made a good profit selling our cars on the second hand market.

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#33530520)

All of your physical comparisons are utterly moot. You can't copy a car. Do you work for the damned RIAA or something?

As for software, that's strictly a commercial product. How is it "stealing" when you grab a freely available image from a website? When was the last time you had to pay for an image, excluding porn?

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (2, Informative)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529998)

You've gotten used to the laissez faire form of copyright we all live with in the modern world where digital duplication is effortless and has no direct cost. A strict reading of copyright law indicates that any unauthorized copying outside the protections of fair use (excerpts, parody, etc.) is a violation even if you don't engage in distribution.

This is why the AHRA was put in place in the US for the narrow scope of personal music copying. Essentially, enough Congresspeople got upset about the implication that their personal mix tapes in the 80's were a violation of copyright that they created a little loophole to shut up the RIAA.

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (5, Insightful)

Artraze (600366) | more than 3 years ago | (#33530012)

And yet, if I download songs for my personal, decidedly private and not business use, I'm subject to damages of hundreds of dollars for each instance.

The point isn't that this is _bad_, but if they're going to go around busting down doors because people are sharing copyrighted works for personal use, they shouldn't be violating copyright for their institutional use and pretending it's OK.

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#33530526)

When was the last time someone tried to sell you a picture of a shoe?

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33530388)

The person who took these photos of the shoe prints put the hard work in and deserves recompense for their hard work.

And what happens if someone spins this off into a commercial product for other police forces to buy? Where's the photographer's cut in that?

Police are stealing the fruits of others labour.

Personally, they can have my extensive collection of shoe photos, but it shouldn't be assumed that everyone other photographer feels the same way.

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (2, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#33530540)

What the hell are you smoking? The photographer was already paid by the shoe company, you dope, at least in cases where it was pulled by shoe company sites. The shoe company gets their return by having a picture of their shoe for people who want one and consider a purchase. How in the HELL does an internal database of these pictures in ANY way impact that business?

And when was the last time someone tried to sell a picture of a goddamned shoe tread?

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (1)

rawler (1005089) | more than 3 years ago | (#33531268)

I think that copyright law needs some serious work

There, fixed that for you.

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (1)

paziek (1329929) | more than 3 years ago | (#33531314)

Well, a lot of people use copyrighted stuff internally at their home, but still - they get sued. I wonder why? This indeed needs some serious work.

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (1)

dreampod (1093343) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529128)

I understand that perfectly. However TFA and TFS both imply that it is the 'Shoe Database' itself that is violating copyright rather than the fact that they went out and used copyrighted photos to generate that database. The difference between the two is enormous and the articles and people discussing the two should stop conflating them.

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (2, Interesting)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529154)

Uh, isn't this how Google images works?

I mean, it'd be one thing if they were building this database for sale, or as a SAAS solution that other police departments were going to pay them for. But I'm sure there are lots of applications which do indeed scarf images randomly for the web and repurpose them for their own use, without threat of copyright lawsuits.

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33530666)

Does it matter if they make a profit from it? The RIAA would sue their ass for making such a compilation of songs to identify every "known" singer's voice on a phone call for "future" investigations. So, why wouldn't the shoe company sue them for unauthorized distribution of their Copyrighted works? Hey 5-0 it works both ways bitches!

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (1)

ascari (1400977) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529672)

I think you missed the point: Think of how cold it is in Sweden. Shoe theft is a very big deal in the winter.

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (4, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529190)

As far as I can tell from the article no shoe company has complained. It appears that some professor has merely speculated that the database may infringe copyrights.

I agree with the suggestion that they would get better quality data by working with the manufacturers, though.

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (1)

ascari (1400977) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529654)

Trust me, the complaints will come when the lawyers RTFA.

Re:Compilation of facts are protected (1)

carp3_noct3m (1185697) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529924)

Is it strange that I for some reason really want to get my hands on such a database? Why yes Watson!, I do recognize that shoe print, its obviously a recent edition of the Florsheim Imperial, our killer is obviously wealthy and well dressed!

Process (4, Interesting)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528818)

Had they just requested sample prints, many (most?) shoe companies would probably have been happy to provide them with a full list - not because they had to, but because its a simple enough request to comply with. By doing the work themselves they ended up with less useful data that's, quite possibly, illegal to use.

Sigh...

Re:Process (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528862)

Had they just requested sample prints, many (most?) shoe companies would probably have been happy to provide them with a full list - not because they had to, but because its a simple enough request to comply with. By doing the work themselves they ended up with less useful data that's, quite possibly, illegal to use.

Sigh...

Well, I'm not a lawyer (certainly not a Swedish lawyer) but it seems likely that if the cops used a database that was illegally garnered, they might find any cases using that information compromised in some way. Not very smart on their part, any way you look at this.

Re:Process (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33529404)

as a matter of fact, how evidence comes into the possession of an investigator does not matter to the court - if there's something suspicious about some piece of evidence, say it's planted, that becomes a crime which is investigated. If the second investigation concludes that the evidence was falsified or w/e, any person it was used to framed may appeal their conviction..

Re:Process (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33530252)

Interesting.
That might be a too-long timecycle on actual framing, but it would also seemingly prevent "actual bad guy got off because of procedural police error" problems.

~ KingAlanI

Cousin to the Swedish Chef (2, Funny)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529732)

Hur, de hur de hur, dee dee boom -- Tort! Tort! Tort!

If only.

Cheers,

Re:Process (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33529152)

UK copyright law has an exemption for anything involve the justice system (including police activities). I'd be very surprised if other countries didn't have similar provisions. Otherwise you'd get the ridiculous situation of criminals suing the police for copyright violation when they took copies of evidence.

This is very likely a non-story.

Witty title (3, Funny)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528838)

kudos to you

Re:Witty title (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33529376)

If you enjoyed Swedish Police Shoe Database May Tread on Copyright you may also enjoy:

Swedish Police Shoe Database Steps Over the Line
Cops Heels, Won't Toe the Line
Swedish Police Trample Copyright Law
Police Shoe Database Doesn't Foot With Swedish Copyright Law
Cops Caught, Read Footed

Re:Witty title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33530774)

Swedish police: Boot Party Riot

Re:Witty title (1)

Kr4u53 (955252) | more than 3 years ago | (#33531248)

I suppose you could say their database got the boot.

how is this helpful? (1)

metalmaster (1005171) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528852)

Aside from stepping on the toes of copyright law, i fail to see how this would be helpful for an investigation.

Any place that sells shoes likely sells quite a bit of any type out there. Even finding an uncommon shoe print isnt necessarily helpful, unless they have already narrowed down their list of suspects. If you've accomplished that, theres probably something more useful than a shoe print to go on. On the contrary, a database of tire treads is a bit more useful. Vehicles are somewhat limited to the tires they are fitted with.

Re:how is this helpful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33529014)

If the police know what design of shoes were used in a crime they can sieze matching items found during a search. Or it could be used to infer the shoe size of the suspect even if the shoe itself is never recovered.

Re:how is this helpful? (2, Insightful)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529062)

If an unusual shoe print is discovered at multiple crime scenes within a certain location range and time span, it may lead investigators to look for connections between those crimes which may help identify an individual associated with all of them. Without something to connect the different crimes, it may be more likely that the an individual responsible for or at least involved in all of them would be more difficult to identify.

There are up sides and down sides to what I describe here, but it's silly to suggest that being able to cross-reference shoe prints AND identify their make/model is not a good idea for law enforcement.

Heck, they still use blood type to narrow suspect lists, if I understand correctly. And each blood type accounts for a much wider swath of the population than, I would assume, almost any shoe print. Maybe Converse Chucks, which have pretty much remained the same over the last 50 years, would have enough presence among wearers to be no more common than, say, O- blood, but otherwise, active wearers of any given shoe print probably number in the millions at any given time, not the hundreds of millions.

Re:how is this helpful? (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529202)

Could help distinguish between small-footed males and females. And I suppose the model of shoe could provide some unreliable information about income-level and profession.

Glad to know... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33528924)

Glad to know that the the US isn't the only country throwing money away on invasive, quasi-legal and ridiculously redundant databases in the name of SOLVING CRIME.

This is not news (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33528930)

Its just bait for people who are anal about their data privacy and people who think they're so important that the big brother is looking at them and singling them out. Remember, you're 1/6,000,000,000. You pretty much don't exist.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33528948)

Now the shoe is on the other foot?

Dr Strangelove (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#33528956)

I guess now we really do live in a world where the Colonel "Bat" Guano's line: "You're gonna have to answer to the Coca-Cola company." is the correct thought
The idea "Can you possibly imagine what is going to happen to you, your frame, outlook, way of life, and everything, when they learn that you have obstructed a ... " [shoe print] lost out.

GREAT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33528990)

Maybe NOW they'll get a piece of their own medicine. Of course, everyone HERE already KNOWS copyright law is a joke these days...

Why didn't the rooster cross the road? Because the chicken joke was copyrighted...

Re:GREAT! (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33530434)

Yes, because it's the cops (especially Swedish) who pushes for and implements stronger copyright legislation. sigh.

Copyright (2)

Reikk (534266) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529030)

I'm pretty sure police have the copyright on gumshoes

so... (1)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529134)

Let's see: downloading publicly accessible images from the Internet in order to build a searchable database is now illegal in Sweden? How do Google and Bing do it then?

Swedish has copyrights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33529286)

I didn't know Sweden had copyright laws; see piratebay.org

Re:Swedish has copyrights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33530316)

piratebay gets off because linking to stuff they don't actually host is legal under the technicalities of Swedish copyright law. (or something of that sort)

~KingAlanI

So today copyrights are "good"?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33529398)

Seriously Slashdot, make up your minds. Either copyright is evil or good. You can't have it both ways. What happened to "fair use"? Or did you conveniently forget about that, today?

Re:So today copyrights are "good"?!? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529518)

Here are a couple fun facts for you:
1. slashdot is not just one person
2. This is news because the very group arresting people for breaking the law related to copyright is breaking the same laws.

Re:So today copyrights are "good"?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33530138)

On the other hand, the police lawyer says it's legal.
I guess that's for a court to decide, if it ever comes to that.

Just pay it (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529500)

Just pay the fuckers before they realize it's coming out of their taxes anyways.

fetish (1)

malraid (592373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529904)

I'm sure there's already a fetish for shoe soles. They could just go online and torrent somebody's archive of photos.... upps...

Of course it is a copyright violation (1)

humblecoder (472099) | more than 3 years ago | (#33529990)

They copied this idea from _Law and Order_.

Shoe Companies??? (1)

VTI9600 (1143169) | more than 3 years ago | (#33530168)

The Swedish police, who have been instrumental in various raids against file-sharing sites, may have a bit of a piracy problem [...] people (and some shoe companies) are pointing out that creating a database isn't about an investigation.

I'd like to see a list of the shoe companies that are objecting to this. I suspect there are none, and that this is simply the futile ranting of an intellectual property professor (RTFA) who is sore over his favorite torrent site getting raided. Nothing to see here...move along. This should not have made it to the front page on /.

eph. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33530302)

When I stood for

But ... (1)

wtansill (576643) | more than 3 years ago | (#33530740)

it's different when the "Authoritez" do it! Really! And it's for the children!!!!!

So what does the Pirate Party have to say? (1)

OnePumpChump (1560417) | more than 3 years ago | (#33531298)

I mean, this seems like an opportunity for them to make nice with The Man.
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