Peter Quattrociocchi III
Creative content is definitely getting to a point in America where copying things becomes a fragile experience. The only real copying that results in no copyright infringements are satire. Making derivatives, alternate universes, etc... in a serious for-profit manner are completely not allowed. Making them free, however, is. There are many games and other creative content based on already made content. For example, there are a slew of Pokemon MMO's (all horrible btw), but since they are free of charge they are still around. Also, in American society it is commonplace to sue others over something that would even seem irrelevant (such as a person eating raw meat off the ground and blaming it on mario, person stealing a car and blaming GTA, etc...). It is my opinion that such lawsuits are ridiculous on what people can get away with, let alone able to charge. One can literally sue anyone for anything, as long as it isn't the government, and there are very few lawyers who would turn away from the most baseless lawsuits. Reading the article it is interesting to see how their society is different. In America, we are hugely capitalistic. Any time a person can make a buck, more power to them. In Japan, they base themselves around honor and a mental understanding.

David Noonan
To Peter:

I think that a large part of why things are so different is in Japan is the difference in the number of lawyers. As you mentioned, in America, lawyers cost a lot of money, and they can be used to sue anyone for more or less anything, making practicing law a ludicrously profitable job. In Japan, I don't believe lawyers make as much money, and I know citizens don't sue each other as much as is done here (I doubt any other country has us beat there), so the number of jobs for lawyers in Japan is smaller. Interestingly, if the lack of lawsuits is due to the lack of lawyers, which is (in part) due to the lack of lawsuits...I don't see a lot of growth in law offices in Japan happening.

To Peter:
John Rampersaud
Being an artist, it can be hard to come up with ideas on my own. I would look to comics, toys, video games, or movies to create a character. Honestly the character is not an original idea because I pick and the chose the points that I think look good. When it comes to creating anything it needs a base and then from there the creator can work from, but with the limited room of ideas that are out there has become narrow. With most things in the US that are created, of it so 30% changed from the original the creator can calm the creation as original.

To John:

I agree with you, it is hard to create anything inside a vacuum. Our culture and experiences influence our creative input and output. I think at the root of this copyright and piracy issue is profit. When we work hard at something we want compensation for our efforts. No matter if it's artist or lawyer. If you were a lawyer and someone used your services and then refused to pay you would be upset due to the time and effort lost and for the breach of contract. It's the same for artists, they put a great deal of time and effort into art and wish to be compensated for their time, effort, and product.

@ John:
I agree with you that it can be hard to come up with good new original ideas of ones own. As you said many people look to what has been successful in the past take certain bits and peices from it so it is "original". I dont think that changeing 30% of the original idea can be considered as a "new original creation" though as you said most things in thwe US created are. A 50% change of an idea I think would be more of an original idea.