If you were wondering, Shia LaBeouf, a multi-millionaire who has been famous since he was about 12, doesn't think copyright really means anything.

If the actor's recent statements in a nigh-insufferable interview at Bleeding Cool are to be believed, he's been playing everyone all along. Or maybe that's just what he wants everyone to believe now that he's been caught plagiarizing Daniel Clowes' comic "Justin M. Damiano" for his short film HowardCantour.com.

In email quotes written much like the awkward poetry of his self-published comics (apparently they are his own words), LaBeouf offered his philosophy on the concept of intellectual property:


Authorship is censorship
Should God sue me if I paint a river?
Should we give people the death sentence for parking violations-
You’ll not only have less parking violations but less DRIVERS.


So this is why LaBeouf doesn't really write much himself, I guess. That driving analogy got away from him. (It's also apparently very reminiscent of an old Steve Martin joke.)

He went on to say that the very concept of law is "against [his] principles" and that copyright should only apply to distribution, not authorship. He said that, in the digital age, the creation of art is nothing but repurposing. He says he subscribes to the philosophies of Jeff Koons and Marcel Duchamp, who made art via reproductions of items or repurposed items.

"What does an artist do – they just point and say look at this," he said.

I think Clowes and lots of other working artists, including screenwriters and directors of the movies that LaBeouf has starred in, would maybe disagree a little bit. Even Duchamp and other postmodern artists took things and made them into other things, or at least recontextualized them. LaBeouf just took a Daniel Clowes comic and made it a movie without asking.

Speaking of Clowes, LaBeouf apologized to the comics artist via skywriting over Hollywood Wednesday.



Clowes lives in Oakland, but LaBeouf wouldn't let a little thing like that get in the way of his crazy stunt.

LaBeouf also all but admitted he was trolling people on Twitter with this tweet the day before:



That quote apparently is also appropriated from somewhere else, a column by RedState columnist and Fox News contributor Erick Erickson.

A promo image for Boom! Town, Boom! Studios "literary comics" imprint, has also been conspicuously removed from LaBeouf's Twitter page and his official website for The Campaign Book is now largely content-free.

In perhaps the biggest act of gall LaBeouf has yet committed, he told Bleeding Cool that he "never asked to be paid and never profited off anyone's back." It isn't clear if he means that in reference to his entire film career or only in regards to his HowardCantour.com short film, but come the f**k on, dude.


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