Well just a few hours ago we were speculating that serial plagiarist Shia LaBeouf wouldn’t be speaking out until the round of press for his next movie, band while his lawyers probably wish he would, it seems he’ll engage in pseudo-intellectual debates over the nature of art with anyone with his email address. It’s a painful read, especially since none of the cobbled together babble makes any sense even given the generally respectful line of questioning—and it also proves that apologies and skywriting aside, LaBeouf really isn’t sorry for stealing at all.

Although Rich J. claims “And a quick Google search indicates that they appear to be in Shia’s own words as well.” many of the quotes in the interviews are from other people (as if the choppy nature of the answers didn’t give it away.)

“Art is a lie the makes us realize the truth.” — Picasso

“It’s not plagiarism in the digital age – it’s repurposing.” — Kenneth Goldsmith

“Copyright law has got to give up its obsession with ‘the copy.’ The law should not regulate ‘copies’ or ‘modern reproductions’ on their own. It should instead regulate uses–like public distributions of copies of copyrighted work–that connect directly to the economic incentive copyright law was intended to foster.” — Laurence Lessig

“Creativity is just connecting things” — Steve Jobs

…and so on. I guess once he got caught, LaBeouf is trying to make out like this is a Joaquin Phoenix-style art project to avoid legal recourse. Plus, he’s just a big old troll.


  1. You know, when this story first broke I was intrigued and angered over LaBeouf ripping off the creative work of Daniel Clowes. But since then, with all of the subsequent antics by LeBeouf, it’s becoming clear (at least to me) that this sounds like yet another attention starved individual and I can no longer give a damn what this guy does or says (or saying what someone else has said). Just let me know if Clowes gets some sort of remuneration or justice (or both). Meanwhile, with any further LeBeouf news, I’ll just pay heed to what Lisa Simpson and Paul Anka sang on the classic Simpsons Treehouse episode, “Just Don’t Look”.

  2. Well, there’s that episode of Star Trek where the Captain sits with an alien, trying to figure out what he’s saying because everything that comes out of his mouth is a reference to something else. Quite frankly I can’t recall an extended conversation with anyone where some pop culture or literary reference didn’t come up, and the young the person, the more it happens. (Hell, I got my comment going with one!) Maybe, LaBeouf is just the natural progression of that, and his vocabulary consists purely of things that he’s already seen or heard.

  3. Does that mean LaBoeuf’s going to get killed by a bad special effect, Chris? Because I’m down with that.

  4. I also agree that Shia, like a lot of people, probably says a lot of things in conversation that, after doing a Google search, would end up being something someone else once said. You can’t talk about subjects like creativity for long without accidentally picking up someone else’s thoughts.

    The problem is that we would write it off for anyone else, but Shia has plagiarized so much at this point, that anything he says will forever be scrutinized.

  5. Does anyone know of any original content created by Mr. LaBeouf? I want to make some art with it…

    But seriously this makes me think of a sociopath who knows he should be apologizing for something based on the reactions of the people around him but doesn’t understand what that thing is.

  6. The world would be a much better place if more people got punched in the mouth. Right after he finds his checkbook.

  7. Sorry to nitpick, but you misspelled Lawrence Lessig’s name and also dropped the colon in the link so that it doesn’t work.

  8. Isn’t it pronounced “he-pity-me”?
    Or would that also be stealing as that should be attributed to Mr Laurence Tureaund?

  9. Interview parody:

    Q — Mr. LaBeouf, isn’t taking dialogue word-for-word from another creator’s work stealing?

    A — It’s a big universe, and I’m a team player. If it wasn’t for mold, we wouldn’t have blue cheese. Seriously, could beautiful stalactites form in a cave if the ceiling didn’t leak? I love art.

    Q — What does that even mean? Isn’t it wrong to put your name on someone else’s work?

    A — I’m a person who enjoys filmmaking. If that’s a crime, I don’t know what is. Everyone has rights, and people have had them for thousands of years. As the old saying goes, Fool me twice, shame on you.

    Q — Huh? Did you use Dan Clowes’ dialogue or not?

    A — Do I have to spell it out? I’m frothing at the bit to tell people the truth. Creativity is like relativity, and don’t you forget it!

  10. At this point, I feel like he is going Full Sheen on us all, or this is some sort of giant Andy Kaufman-like prank on us all. That dialogue between he and Rich is clearly from a drunk or deranged mind, as it really does make no logical sense.

  11. this guy is total clown shoes and I hate that he’s carrying the flag of ‘its ok to steal from other artists if you’re higher on the fame totem pole than they are.’

    That interview looked like someone trying waaay to hard to convince people that he’s an important intellectual art-eest. Lots of big words and vapid coffee shop philosophical speak.

  12. It’s clear LaBeouf thinks the outrage is comical, that he somehow exists in a sphere of influence where his actions aren’t held to the same standards of regular joes and all that. It couldn’t be clearer that he isn’t sorry in any way, consider how the sky writing is absent a name taking full responsibility for what is done. All of his responses seem geared to trigger outrage and he seems to be getting off on it. I hope Clowes takes him to school and goes to court, it’s really upsetting overall.

  13. I love this! It’s hilarious! While it would be nice if he genuinely apologized to Dan Clowes, the rest is just awesome how he’s trolling everybody. He’s not sorry at all and the sooner we all accept that, the better off we’ll be.

  14. Shia says the word law is against his principles, a line taken from an interview with Duchamp. He actually mentioned Duchamp in the interview, so he gave him more credit than Clowes. Of course he uses the quote to simply say he is above any laws as an artist. He claims law by their nature censor artists. Certain he feels that way about drunk driving laws, as someone at BC pointed out. Hmm..

    So i guess assault and battery laws are just censorship of an artist? So if Dan Clowes were to take a baseball bat to Shia’s head and the police stop him, that’s just a bunch of fascist laws stopping the work of a true artist. Laws are just a step backward in society. Clearly we need to banish them for true art to exist.

    (Of course I kid. It’s especially funny since when I met Clowes he was a pretty nice soft spoken guy.)

  15. I still think most people are missing what should be the real argument here: if the internet is “free” then why isn’t Clowes work “free” and why shouldn’t your work “free” ?
    Is this really about LaBeouf?
    Lots of people can go on and on about what a mean and evil guy LaBeouf is but under the system we have now this has to be only to tipppy-te tip tip of the beginning of the beginning.
    For more on this matter, I highly recommend Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier (in the interest of full disclosure: I got nothing to do with the guy or his book):


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