June 2007, Passage 3, Question 17

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Question 17. When a question asks you about what the author would be likely to agree about, you're dealing with an inference question. Inference questions ask you to find information in the passage that will be enough to help you prove one of the answer choice is true. The right answers won't directly be stated in the passage, even though sometimes it might feel like it's there.

And that's because it'll be such a small departure from what is there, that it'll feel like almost the same thing. Be careful about answer choices that seem reasonable, but you can't tie them back to any specific facts that were brought up in the passage. All of the answers have to come from things that the author said. This question is a little bit more specific than a lot of them.

It isn't just asking about what the author would agree with in general, but specifically what the author would agree with concerning documents placed on web pages. The author mentions documents several times. So glance back over those areas that approach the answer choices cautiously. With each answer choice, you're asking yourself, can I prove this with one or more things that the author said explicitly?

Answer choice A, such documents cannot receive adequate protection and less current copyright laws are strengthened. This is not the author's view, that's the view of the intellectual property holders, the people that the author sides against. Answer choice B, such documents cannot be protected from unauthorized distribution without significantly diminishing the potential of the web to be a widely used form of communication.

This is also the opposite of our author. The author thinks that those documents can be protected, and certainly the author doesn't think it's going to significantly diminish the potential of the web. Even though the author does admit it will diminish it a little bit, he doesn't say significantly. Answer choice C, the near instantaneous access afforded by the web makes it impossible in practice.

Once again, that's the opposite of something the author said. The author says it's something that can be done under existing technology and existing laws. Answer choice D, such documents can be protected from copyright infringement with the least damage to the public interest only by altering existing legal codes. Again, our author thinks the opposite of this.

The author thinks that existing measures are fine, you don't have to alter existing legal codes. That means the answer must be answer choice E, it's the only answer we have left. Only D that is, you might not need to prove it, because you've eliminated the other four answers.

But to look at it now, 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. Well, sure, this comes from the last sentence. The author said, changing copyright laws 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.

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