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Standardized Tests: Recouping Development Costs and Preserving Integrity

Thomas G. Field Jr.

University of New Hampshire School of Law (formerly Franklin Pierce Law Center)

January 21, 2012

52 IDEA 385 (2013)

Psychometric tests are designed to measure knowledge and a variety of psychological attributes. To be useful, they must be validated, sometimes at great expense. Developers often seek to recoup costs by controlling reproduction. Often, too, developers seek to avoid validity-defeating publication.

Thus far, both ends have been served by copyright law despite a variety of challenges, including ones occasionally based on subject matter. No one, however, seems to have claimed that copyright law is ill suited to control the reproduction of text designed to produce or collect rather than disseminate information.

Focusing on that dichotomy, this paper argues that current copyright law should have, at best, a limited role in halting free riders and preserving the potential for reuse of validated questions. It also briefly explains why copyright is rarely needed to recoup the costs of devising standardized tests.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 29

Keywords: Psychometric tests, standardized exams, copyright, patent, trade secret, trademark

JEL Classification: K11

working papers series

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Date posted: January 23, 2012 ; Last revised: January 31, 2013

Suggested Citation

Field, Thomas G., Standardized Tests: Recouping Development Costs and Preserving Integrity (January 21, 2012). 52 IDEA 385 (2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1989584 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1989584

Contact Information

Thomas G. Field Jr. (Contact Author)
University of New Hampshire School of Law ( email )
Two White Street
Concord, NH 03301
United States
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