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by AnnaC659 Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:35 pm


I was left with (A) and (D) but I couldn't really find support for (A) so ended up choosing (D).
Where does it say social norms enable comedians to "recoup the costs" for developing a comedic routine?
I see that in line 20 that generally absent protection of creative works hence unlikelihood of recouping costs for producing them, the creators are expected to produce less of such work. But does that mean to say that social norms that give comedians incentives to keep up with creative work allow them to recoup the costs for producing them?

On the other hand, I thought it made sense for the author of passage A to agree with (D) since the passage is all about how the existing copyright law isn't efficient (not cost-effective) but social norm is. Although the word "generally" in the answer choice made me hesitant.


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Re: Q19

by JoyC484 Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:43 am

I think D is wrong because Psg A only talk about Comedy issues, social norms work better in Comedy field does not mean that it will "generally" work better than IP law in any other field.

Btw, I am confused about why A is correct too, I did not find support for "recoup the cost"...Can anyone explain why A is right and E is wrong as well?
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Re: Q19

by KristenW551 Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:33 am

I initially went with E and left D open. I killed A for the same reason as you - "recoup the costs" - nowhere did I pick up in the passage that these social norms help comedians regain any money through these. I took it as they provide some form of protection against joke stealing.

I am now killing E because of the value judgment within the answer choice (should be modified). I think D is wrong because the author of passage A never states an opinion on whether these systems work better or worse. It's just said that these social norms seem to take care of the issue since law-based systems are too expensive/ difficult to work with.

After killing both of those... I guess A works. I'm taking the test in a week, so all of these wishy-washy questions from this exam are really cramping my style.
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Re: Q19

by HiraS28 Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:23 pm

Ill give this one a go since I have not contributed to the community that has helped me so much.

A) seems correct due to the last sentence of passage A. Specifically line 37 " Using the informal system (=social norms).... and maintain substantial incentive to invest in new materials" I took this line as the social norms support the success of the comedian. I think this would explain the "recoup the cost". Since "maybe" producing a comedic stand up is expensive.

B) The author does not sound like its pushing for comedians to copyright their jokes.

C) "unconcerned" we do not know this. Maybe some famous comedians do not, but how about others in the laugh factory. We cant claim MOST

D) "less efficiently" maybe, but the author of A does not seem concerned about the efficiency, but that the social norms work.

E) This answer seems to be a trap. If you look at Q16, the correct answer is "comedians more likely to protect their material if copyright law could provide greater assurance..." I think the LSAT is banking on you to refer to this question. The thing that stands out with E is the degree. "Should" is too strong for an inference questions. If you refer back to Q16 the wording is "more likely"

Not sure if my explanation is enough. Please feel free to add more or comment on which I got wrong.
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Re: Q19

by MayaM405 Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:43 pm

I think an important factor here is the phrasing of the question itself when we are looking for "most likely to agree," rather than "most supported by the passage." Because of the stimulus, I was thinking more about which answer choice can be narrowly tied to the author's POV than which has the most direct support in the passage.

A - "Recouping the costs associated" raised a red flag for me, too. But since this answer choice seemed in line with the point of view of the author, I left it in my first pass.
B - Contradicted/Unsupported - the author never poses any suggestions like this one.
C- "MOST professional comedians" seems strong. Plus the concerns of expense are unsupported, all we know is that comedians write jokes anyways.
D - "GENERALLY" was a big red flag for me. The author never compares these systems, so we have no idea what the author thinks about it.
E - "Should be" - indicates another suggestion that we shouldn't infer based on the passage.

Looking back at A, I was reassured by phrasing like "make it possible." This is super weak, and therefore more easily tied to the author's opinion. I went back and skimmed the passage and realized "recouping the costs" actually is supported by the second paragraph. Since the other choices all presented suggestions or comparisons that I had no support for from the author, A seemed like the best choice.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Q19

by ConnorL87 Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:49 pm

This passage as a whole turned me into a human shamble, but this question was the one that I got wrong even after a second attempt.

I didn't chose (A) in either of my first two passes because of confusion over the phrase "recoup the costs", and I think many people in this thread are confused in the same way. But upon closer examination, it became clear (A) was the most obvious answer. I was thinking of costs as the costs incurred by having jokes stolen (e.g. harm to reputation because people mistakenly think YOU copied the joke, or lost ticket sales because another comedian is doing the same set at another club). Nothing about the social norms helps someone recoup those costs, make back the lost income, restore their reputation, etc. But then I realized that the costs this was referring to, as evidenced by line (20), was the costs of creating the material. So do the social norms help comedians recoup the costs of creating material? YES! The social norms deter joke stealing from occurring in the first place, so comedians are able to create new material and recover the costs of creating their new material (e.g. opportunity costs of having to spend time writing new jokes vs working an hourly shift)

In my first pass, I narrowed it down to (A), (C), and (E). I went with (C) because it seemed the most supported. Isn't the fact that comedians evidently continue to develop new material an indication that they aren't too concerned with the expenses involved? The social norms that have developed mitigate the concern over expense. I thought the author would agree that, given the fact that comedians continue to make new material, the expenses involved in creating new material are clearly not much of a concern to them as a whole.

But then I realized, oh duh, the whole reason these social norms have substituted for IP law is because of the concern with the costs of developing new material. I was confusing a cause with an effect. The existence of these social norms is evidence that comedians are concerned about the costs of developing new material, otherwise these social norms would not have developed to fill the gap left by the inadequacy of IP law. I had it the other way around: there is a lack of concern because of the norms in place rather than there are norms in place because of a concern that exists.

So I reevaluated and chose (E). I originally didn't like (E) because of "should", but negating that seemed like something the author would disagree with "copyright law should NOT be modified to make it more cost-effective". I had a sneaking feeling that negation test doesn't apply to these types of questions though, but because of the time crunch I picked it and moved on.
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Re: Q19

by ohthatpatrick Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:09 pm

On a first pass through any open-ended "most likely to agree / most supported / inferred / suggests" question, I'm mainly wary of wording that is
- too strong / specific
- making an unknown comparison
- out of scope
- wrong point of view

Here, I would have these 1st pass reactions
(A) "recouping the COSTS OF DEVELOPING a comedy routine"? Seems out of scope. This could be a tortured way of saying "the system of norms has financial value to comedians", so I'd squiggle it.

(B) "SHOULD increase reliance on copyright law"? That doesn't sound like the author at all. The passage is also not opinionated; it's descriptive. The author is mainly describing that the system of norms fulfills the role that would otherwise be filled by copyright law.

(C) "MOST comedians"? Do I know anything in the passage about 'more than 50%' of comedians? This also sounds opposite of the passage. Comedians DON'T want their jokes stolen because their IS some expense involved in coming up with new material

(D) "GENERALLY work less efficiently"? Can we say anything about 'more than 50%' of law-based IP systems? Can we compare efficiency vs. systems of norms? This answer is both too strong/specific and makes an unknown comparison.

(E) "SHOULD be modified"? This is like (B). This passage was written with a descriptive voice, so we would be speculating that the author thinks that things SHOULD be changed. The author's main point is that the system of norms essentially fills the role that would be otherwise played by copyright law. There's no indication that the system of norms is failing comedians, so there's no support for the idea that there's a problem to be solved.

Okay, can we really pick (A)? I gotta find supporting text before I'm cool with my answer. Where do we discuss "recouping costs"? It's in the 2nd paragraph. Lines 16-26 are good support for (A).

Conventional wisdom holds that w/o IP laws, comedians couldn't recoup costs, wouldn't make new material.

Since they are making new material, they presumably are recouping costs, and the author explains that the answer to this causal riddle is the system of social norms.

Thus, (A) says, the system of social norms appears to be allowing them to recoup costs, since we are seeing plenty of new material.