LSAT 2007: Section 4 (Part 3 of 4)

Passage for questions below

The World Wide Web is a global network of electronically produced and interconnected (or “linked” ) sites which are knwon as pages. These are accessible via personal computer, and other gadgets as well. However there has been dispute regarding the ownership of intellectual property. This is so because those who create the pages for uploading to the internet want that copyright laws be made strong enough so as to protect their writings from unpreferred usage. However the web users are against this as according to them, if a strict copyright infringement law is laid on the web pages then there is no purpose for which the web world will survive as an open forum to surf upon:

The debate arises from the Web's ability to link one document to another. The Links between sites are analogous to the inclusion in a printed text of references to other works, but with one difference: The cited document which is currently under copyright law and is not easily accessible to users when surfed upon casually is instantly retrievable by a user who activates other related link. This creates a sort of confusion as it gives the owner of the material a right to sue the distributor of the link through which it reached his link though that distributor did not personally make the copies. If person A, the author of a document, puts the document on a Web page, and person B, the creator of another Web page, creates a link to A's document, is B committing copyright infringement?

To answer this question, it must be first made clear and understood well as to who controls distribution of a document on the Web. When A places a document on a Web page for viewing, it can be analogically compared recording an outgoing message on one's telephone answering machine for others to hear. When B creates a link to A's document, this is as similar as B's giving out A's telephone number so as to facilitate third parties to hear the outgoing message for themselves or have an access to the web page. Anyone who calls can listen to the message; that is its purpose. Though it is B's link which facilitates access to A's document, the major focus point here is that A cannot claim that B led an access to his page as it is he who by putting the page online has given the rights of viewership. For his convinience, he can also get to techniques that are already available which can restrict access to a document. For example, A may require a password to gain entry to A's Web page, just as a telephone owner can request an unlisted number and disclose it only to selected parties. Such a solution would compromise the openness of the Web somewhat, but not as much as the threat of copyright infringement litigation. Changing copyright law to benefit owners of intellectual property is thus ill-advised because it would impede the development of the Web as a public forum dedicated to the free exchange of ideas.

  1. Which one of the following most accurately expresses the crux of the passage?

    1. Since distribution of a document placed on a Web page is controlled by the author of that page and that is what gives right of viewership, providing links to the page should not be considered copyright infringement.

    2. Changes in copyright law in response to the development of Web pages and links are ill-advised unless such changes amplify rather than restrict the free exchange of ideas necessary in a democracy.

    3. People who do not want their ideas to flow easily to all can obviously restrict it through technologies without inhibiting the rights of others to exchange ideas freely.

    4. Problems concerning intellectual property rights created by new forms of electronic media are not insuperably difficult to resolve if one applies basic commonsense principles to these problems.

    5. Maintaining a free exchange of ideas on the Web offers benefits that far outweigh those that might be gained by a small number of individuals if a radical alteration of copyright laws aimed at restricting the Web's growth were allowed.

    Answer: a

  2. Which one of the following is closest in meaning to the term “strengthened” as that term is used in the second sentence of the passage?

    1. made more restrictive

    2. made uniform worldwide

    3. made to impose harsher penalties

    4. dutifully enforced

    5. more fully recognized as legitimate

    Answer: a

  3. With which one of the following claims about documents placed on Web pages would the author be most likely to agree?

    1. Such documents cannot receive adequate protection unless current copyright laws are strengthened.

    2. Such documents will be used and spread and this cannot be stopped or reduced without significantly diminishing the potential of the Web to be a widely used form of communication.

    3. The nearly instantaneous access afforded by the Web makes it impossible in practice to limit access to such documents.

    4. Such documents can be protected from copyright infringement with the least damage to the public interest only by altering existing legal codes.

    5. Such documents cannot fully contribute to the Web's free exchange of ideas unless their authors allow them to be freely accessed by those who wish to do so.

    Answer: e

  4. Based on the passage, the relationship between strengthening current copyright laws and relying on passwords to restrict access to a Web document has a similar analogy as the relationship between

    1. allowing everyone use of a public facility and restricting its use to members of the community

    2. outlawing the use of a drug and outlawing its sale

    3. prohibiting a sport and relying on participants to employ proper safety gear

    4. passing a new law and enforcing that law

    5. allowing unrestricted entry to a building and restricting entry to those who have been issued a badge

    Answer: c

  5. The passage most strongly implies which one of the following?

    1. The owners of the links are no distributors to links of other owners.

    2. The person who controls access to a Web page document should be considered the distributor of that document.

    3. Rights of privacy should not be extended to owners of intellectual property placed on the Web.

    4. Those who create links to Web pages have primary control i.e.. The ownership lies with them, over who reads the documents on those pages.

    5. A document on a Web page must be converted to a physical document via printing before copyright infringement takes place.

    Answer: b

  6. According to the passage, which one of the following features of outgoing messages left on telephone answering machines is most relevant to the debate concerning copyright infringement?

    1. Such messages are carried by an electronic medium of communication.

    2. Such messages are not legally protected against unauthorized distribution.

    3. Transmission of such messages is virtually instantaneous.

    4. People have a fragile attitude as to whether or not others might record such messages.

    5. Such messages have purposely been made available to anyone who calls that telephone number.

    Answer: e

  7. The author's discussion of telephone answering machines serves primarily to

    1. compare and contrast the legal problems created by two different sorts of electronic media

    2. provide an example to justify the positions taken by each of the two sides in the copyright debate

    3. show that the legal problems produced by new communication technology are not themselves new

    4. illustrate the basic principle the author believes should help determine the outcome of the copyright debate

    5. show that telephone use also raises concerns about copyright infringement

    Answer: d

  8. According to the passage, present copyright laws

    1. allow completely unrestricted use of any document placed by its author on a Web page

    2. allow those who establish links to a document on a Web page to control its distribution to others

    3. prohibit anyone but the author of a document from making a profit from the document's distribution

    4. allow the author of a document to sue anyone who distributes the document without permission

    5. should be altered to allow more complete freedom in the exchange of ideas

    Answer: d