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June 2007, Passage 3, Question 21


Question 21, the authors discussion of telephone answering machine messages serves primarily to that phrase serves primarily to indicates a purpose of a detailed question. These questions ask you to select the answer that describes how part of the passage is used in the authors overall argument. How does that relate to the author's overall purpose?

Once again, we're back in that last paragraph the first half of the last paragraph where the author brings up answering machine messages as a way of creating an analogy or in a comparison to help prove the overall point that placing links on the web doesn't count as being a distributor. And thus it isnt copyright infringement, and there shouldn't be harsher laws created to stop it.

You should be able to make a fairly specific prediction for a purpose question, because as you read the passage you should be asking yourself, well, what's the purpose of that? Why did they say that? So it was something they brought up as an analogy to explain why it is that the web users are right.

The intellectual property owners are wrong. Putting links on the web is not distributing things. It's just making them available. So answer choice A compare and contrast the legal problems created by two different sorts of electronic media. There's only one sort of electronic media in the passage, that's the web.

The fact that alette answering machine messages are electronic isn't really brought up, the author isn't trying to compare and contrast two different sets of legal problems. Answer choice B provide an analogy, obviously we like that I've used the analogy several times. But the rest of it has to work too.

So provide an analogy to illustrate the positions taken by each of the two sides in the copyright debate. Well, that's not what's going on here in the passage, they're not illustrating, this is what intellectual property owners say, this is what web users say. That was handled way back up in the first paragraph. Here in the last paragraph, the author is making an argument they're saying, because the web is like an answering machine, putting links on the web is not a form of distribution.

So it doesn't need laws stopping it. Answer choice B does not describe the answer, even though it does have that nice word up front. Be careful, they often put a very nice word in the first part of the answer choice hoping that you just read it and decide its your answer and ignore everything else.

Answer choice C show that the legal problems produced by new communication technologies are not themselves new. There isn't a problem with answering machine messages. So it's not saying just as answering machine messages there have always been a problem they were never said to be a problem. D, illustrate the basic principle the author believes should help determine the outcome of the copyright debate.

Well, this is this is our answer at the beginning of the last paragraph, the author says to answer this question. And the question that they're asking about is, if Person A, the author of a document puts a document on a web page and person B, the creative and creator of another web page, creates a link to a document is a committing copyright infringement. So to answer the question, is linking copyright infringement, the author said it must first be determined who controls distribution of the document on the Web.

The answering machine analogy is there to explain that the linker does not control it. It's the person who put it on the Web in the first place. This is part of the author siding with the Web users. So answer choice D gets it right. So why is E wrong?

E says show that telephone users also raise concerns about copyright infringement. Nobody was worried that people were illegally distributing answering machine messages. It's not a copyright infringement. So the answer is D.

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