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LSAT

Unit 1: Lesson 10

Reading Comprehension - Worked Examples

Main point | Law passage | Copyright

Watch a demonstration of one way to approach questions in the LSAT that ask you to identify the main point of a passage. Created by Dave Travis.

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Video transcript

- [Instructor] Which one of the following most accurately expresses the main point of the passage? So usually each group of questions after a reading passage has to do with the main idea of the passage. Sometimes it would be, what is the best title for this passage, and a good way to approach them is to fix in your brain what you're looking for, before you start looking. In this case, the main point of the passage was that the tangible-object theory of copyright is a little bit problematic, because of this idea of retained rights and also the idea that there should be some retained rights on ideas. So let's see what we can find here, see what we can match. A, copyright and other intellectual-property rights can be explained as logical extensions of the right to own concrete objects. No, that isn't right, this misses this idea of tangible object theory being somewhat problematic, which is kinda the point of the passage, so we don't wanna miss out on that, so, A is not right. B, attempts to explain copyright and similar intellectual property rights, purely in terms of rights to ownership of physical objects, are ultimately misguided. Okay, that looks really good. This is a little bit negative, ultimately misguided is good, that last paragraph was saying, I'm sorry, but tangible object theory does not cover everything, it's not the be-all, end-all. B is looking mighty good. Let's see what C, D, and E have to say to us. C, copyrighting a work amounts to securing official recognition of one's intention to retain certain rights to that work. Okay, well that was lifted directly from the second paragraph, but that isn't the main point of the passage, as we've already identified it. So this is a partial answer, it's something that was in the passage, but it is by no means the main point. D, explanations of copyright and other intellectual-property rights, in terms of rights to ownership of tangible objects, fail to consider the argument that ideas should be allowed to circulate freely. Okay, so D identifies this idea that tangible-object copyright theory fails in some regard, but is this the way in which they fail? Do they fail to consider the argument that ideas should be allowed to circulate freely? No, they fail to consider the argument that ideas can't be transferred, the ownership of ideas can't be transferred in that way. It's not that they should be allowed to circulate freely. This is what makes D wrong. E, under the tangible-object theory of intellectual property, rights of ownership are straightforwardly applicable to both ideas and physical objects. While the author does say that this is what tangible-object theorists believe, the main point of the passage is that tangible-object theory does not cover everything and it is somewhat problematic, so this E is not the right answer. So let's go back and have another look at our right answer, which is B. Attempts to explain copyright and similar intellectual-property rights, purely in terms of rights to ownership of physical objects, okay, so this sums up tangible-object copyright theory, are ultimately misguided. So that was the third paragraph that found problems with it, so this must be our answer.