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Crime Government Your Rights Online

Swedish Police Shoe Database May Tread On Copyright 156

Posted by timothy
from the heel-to-toe-heel-to-toe dept.
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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Swedish Police Shoe Database May Tread On Copyright

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  • Process (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rjstanford (69735) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @07:22PM (#33528818) Homepage Journal

    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.


  • by DurendalMac (736637) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @07:43PM (#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.
  • by bennomatic (691188) on Thursday September 09, 2010 @07:56PM (#33529154) Homepage
    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.

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein