The passage provides the most support for inferring which one of the following statements?

Stephanie on February 5 at 03:05AM

Question

Can you please explain the correct answer?

3 Replies

Ravi on February 5 at 09:17AM

@Steph,

Happy to help.

The question asks, "The passage provides the most support for
inferring which one of the following statements?"

(A) says, "in most transactions involving the transfer of
non-intellectual property, at least some rights of ownership are
retained by the seller."

The only part of the passage that deals with non-intellectual property
is the statement in lines 21-24, and this is brought up to discuss the
retention of rights. However, we're not told anything about 'most'
transactions, so how are we to know that (A) is true? We simply can't
infer this from the passage, this answer choice is out.

(B) says, "The notion of retained rights of ownership is currently
applied to only those areas of law that do not involve intellectual
property."

The problem with this answer choice is that the second paragraph of
the passage already makes the implication that retained rights are
applied to intellectual property. In the second paragraph, we're told
in lines 28-34 that "among the rights typically retained by the
original producer of an object such as a literary manuscript or a
musical score would be the right to copy the object for profit and the
right to use it as a guide for the production of similar or analogous
things—for example, a public performance of a musical score." If these
typss of rights are typically retained, then it stands to reason that
retained rights are being applied to intellectual property, too. Thus,
we can get rid of (B).

(C) says, "The idea that ownership of the right to copy an item for
profit can be transferred is compatible with a tangible-object theory
of intellectual property."

Understanding the second paragraph well is crucial to recognizing that
(C) is an inference we can make. In the second paragraph, we're told
in lines 17-21, "But if the owner transfers ownership of the object,
the full complement of rights is not necessarily transferred to the
new owner; instead, the original owner may retain one or more of these
rights." This is what the author refers to as 'retained rights,' and
we're then told in lines 24-28 that these rights are compatible with
the tangible-object theory. Although we're told this, just because the
original creator/owner can retain rights (like the right to copy an
item for profit) when transferring property, this doesn't mean that
the original owner must retain those rights. "May" and "must" are two
different things, and the owner doesn't have to hold onto these rights
if they don't want to. The concept that the original owner could
theoretically transfer the rights that are typically retained in
copyright law is compatible with the tangible-object theory, so (C) is
our correct answer choice.

(D) says, "Ownership of intellectual property is sufficiently
protected by the provisions that, under many legal systems, apply to
ownership of material things such as land."

One problem with this answer choice is that it mentions 'many legal
systems,' and as noted above, we simply don't have any information on
'many' legal systems. We don't know that a bunch of countries have in
their law pertaining to copyright law. The other problem is that the
main point of the passage is not in favor of the tangible-object
theory; the main point the author is making is that the
tangible-object theory doesn't work. However, with (D), it's trying to
say that the tangible-object theory does work ("sufficiently
protected"), so it goes against the main point of the passage (the
main point of the passage is lines 39-47 of the text). Because of
this, we can get rid of (D).

(E) states, "Protection of computer programs under
intellectual-property law is justifiable only if the programs are
likely to be used as a guide for the production of similar or
analogous programs."

One thing wrong with (E) is that there's no mention anywhere of
computer programs. Additionally, while the passage does describe using
intellectual property as a guide for the production of similar or
analogous things, this was mentioned in the passage as an example of a
type of right that's typically retained by the original owner (this is
from lines 28-34). Nowhere in the passage did it say that the programs
being likely to be used as a guide for the production of similar or
analogous things was a necessary condition for ownership of
intellectual property. Because of this, we can get rid of (E), as it
has no support.

Does this make sense? Let us know if you have any more questions!

Stephanie on February 9 at 03:36PM

Yes. Thank You!

Ravi on February 9 at 10:51PM

@Steph you're welcome!