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The author begins by describing the World Wide Web, and tells us that it raises questions about intellectual property, with content owners and web users having opposing viewpoints about whether IP laws should be strengthened to protect online content.
The author describes how links work on the Web, and shows how linking documents gives rise to the debate discussed in the preceding paragraph. The author ends the paragraph by posing a question, the answer to which might settle the debate.
Here the author attempts to answer the question, in part by drawing an analogy to sharing someone else's phone number, and comes to the conclusion that because content owners retain control over how their content is shared, publishing a link to their content is not a copyright infringement and they do not need additional protection in the form of stronger IP laws. The author then goes further, stating the stronger IP laws would be ill advised due to negative effects on the free flow of information.
The Viewpoints represented in the passage are those of the author, content creators, and web users.
The Structure of the passage is as follows:
Paragraph One: Identifies the topic of discussion and presents a conflict of viewpoints between content creators and web users.
Paragraph Two: Describes the source of the debate and raises a question about how to resolve it.
Paragraph Three: Identifies the crucial issue to determining the resolution, presents an argument in support of one determination, and concludes based on that determination with the author's viewpoint in favor of one side and against the other.
The author’s Tone is academic and well-reasoned, but ultimately strongly against further regulation in this area.
The author’s Argument is that stronger intellectual property regulations would be unnecessary and would have detrimental effects on the free sharing of information via the World Wide Web.
The Main Point of the passage is that despite some concerns of content creators, they do not need and should not be granted stronger intellectual property protection for content distributed via the World Wide Web because sharing links does not constitute copyright infringement.
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