Robot 6

Shia LaBeouf’s website ‘about’ page was also copied

From Shia LaBeouf's Campaign Book website

From Shia LaBeouf’s Campaign Book website

If the past few days of Shia LaBeouf-related news weren’t puzzling enough, here’s more: Following the revelation that his short film HowardCantour.com was nearly wholly lifted without credit or permission from Daniel Clowes’ comic Justin M. Damiano, the subsequent discovery that his multiple apologies were copied from sources ranging from Yahoo! Answers to Kanye West, it appears the text of the “About” page of LaBeouf’s Campaign Book website was directly ripped from the description of Dan Nadel’s soon-to-close PictureBox — something noted by Nadel himself on The Comics Journal.

The Campaign Book:

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 11.30.56 AM

PictureBox:

Why is PictureBox? Because I love the things I love and I want to champion them. I tend toward outliers and I’m obsessed with the history of visual culture writ large and small. But look, ostensibly PictureBox is a publishing company. I publish around 10 books a year (graphic novels, prose, design, art, etc.) as well as assorted specialty items like DVDS, CDs, and prints. Each project comes from my own tastes and relationships, and are rooted in what I believe in. Since it’s just me running this thing, you’re pretty much seeing me through those books and this site.

Yep, that follows the HowardCantour.com formula in being virtually identical, other than proper names, down to the “s” capitalized in “DVDS” but not “CDs.” Nadel’s commentary, as seen on TCJ: “Pretty amazing. And sad.” (In case you’re wondering, the earliest archive.org capture of PictureBox’s text in that form is Dec. 24, 2010; The Campaign Book’s is April 23, 2012.)

To recap, HowardCantour.com was produced in 2012 and released online Monday — shortly thereafter BuzzFeed published a post on the similarities between the short and Clowes’ Justin M. Damiano comic, quoting the famed cartoonist saying he was “shocked” by the film, and “actually can’t imagine what was going through his mind.” That night, LaBeouf took to Twitter to apologize, using words which were found to be in part taken from a four-year-old Yahoo! Answers post. He later posted further apologies to Twitter, which were taken from more famous sources — including Tiger Woods, Kanye West and former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.

HowardCantour.com star Jim Gaffigan’s manager told CBR News, “Jim was an actor for hire on this project and had no creative input.  We were all as surprised by this news as everybody else.” BuzzFeed also unearthed that LaBeouf’s self-published 2012 comic releases Let’s Fucking Party and Stale N Mate, borrowed “heavily” from Charles Bukowski and Benoît Duteurtr.

In further developments: The Hollywood Reporter has posted a defense of LaBeouf on its Hollywood Esq. legal blog, straightforwardly titled “In Defense of Shia LaBeouf.” In it, writer Eriq Gardner states his opinion that, at least in the letter of the law, HowardCantour.com is, “at worst” an “illegal derivative,” as LaBeouf created a film, and not a graphic novel. Gardner also writes that if Clowes pursues a lawsuit, “copyright infringement cases are notoriously tough for plaintiffs to prevail.” The piece ends with comparing this situation to a lawsuit against the 2007 film Disturbia, which starred LaBeouf: The rights-holders to Alfred Hitchock’s classic Rear Window saw one too many similarities in the latter film and sued, but ended up losing in court.

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Comments

28 Comments

Jackpot Stampede

December 19, 2013 at 1:16 pm

This has gone so far beyond the pale that if someone came out and said this was all a big joke and Dan Nadel and Dan Clowes were in on this, the whole thing would honestly make more sense.

At this point, wouldn’t it take as much time to come up with original stuff as it would for someone to troll the Internet to cut and paste from such a myriad of sources?

It’s plagiarism all the way down.

Also, Eriq Gardner can go sit on a pitchfork.

Give me a break. You can rip off the basic plot of a movie (Rear Window) and probably still be safe. You can’t rip off exact dialogue, narration and even shots. Otherwise, why would anyone pay for rights to anything?

What LaBeouf did was unforgivable. he should be reamed for this outrage!

I, for one, have decided to never again see a movie that has any association with LaBeouf. Not that that will be particularly hard since he’s a terrible actor and obviously plagiarizes everything he does behind the camera.

This all has to be a joke that everyone’s in on, or Shia is master level trolling. He’d know people would come out of the woodwork and cry “BURN THE WITCH, PLAGIARISM PAGANISM!”

So, simmer down everyone. Everything will be revealed soon.

@Closer:

Exactly. Optioning/Buying Rights is a big business (and rightly so) why on earth would it be a business at all if it was okay to just steal shit and play it off as your own.

And I have no idea what Gardner’s point about it not being a graphic novel – this is the ENTIRE POINT OF ADAPTATION. Almost universally you buy the rights to material and adapt it into a NEW medium, not the existing medium. Jeez.

@Jackpot Stampede:

Yes. My exact thoughts after reading this. I half expect them all to show up somewhere together laughing hysterically at the whole thing as it would make more sense at this point.

This story deserves to make mainstream media by now. Has it?

I can’t love the Transformers films anymore.

Actually, that’s a lie.

No one ever loved the Transformers films.

@Rob Dubya:

I don’t see any evidence of some joke that everyone is in on. I see evidence of Shia not giving a damn and doing as he damn well pleases. His faux apologies and constant lifting of other people’s work is evidence that he doesn’t care if people catch him or not. I’m not sure if he even cares of the legal problems he could be getting himself into because he’s not even putting a good effort to protect himself legally. It’s all half-ass. He doesn’t care. Does he think he’s above giving credit, buying rights, being original and following the law or is he just stupid?

Folks are calling him out on it cause he lifted from a well respected artist in our preferred medium. Artists in this medium don’t always get a lot of recognition, so when their work is taken for granted– you bet we raise hell. As it should be. I’m wondering why you are so invested in telling folks to “simmer down” when its clear Shia has been at the very least negligent of following the law here.

It may be giving Shia LaBoeuf too much credit, but I have to agree that this whole thing has to be some sort of elaborate prank or some kind of sly commentary on something.

Wait, are we actually of the mind that Shia himself has personally written the apology and the text on the website himself? I mean, it’s entirely possible, but also possible that he just hired some idiot to do this stuff, and it’s now completely biting him in the ass.

Just don’t know a lot of guys who seem to be this dumb who write their own copy.

Not a defense at all, but just seems weird that Shia is personally doing all of this.

And of course, the obvious joke I left my comment open for is, he didn’t write his own copy.

BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN! ;)

I want Shia Lebouf to take off his mask and reveal Andy Kaufman. That’s the only way this can end.

I currently teach or have taught college English at a number of institutions in and around the town in which I live. Copying and pasting something that someone else has written and trying to pass it off as your own original work IS flat-out plagiarism. If Shia had been a student in my and most other professors’ classes, he would’ve received a zero for his assignment. Hell, if it was MY class specifically, the douche would’ve failed the entire course!

Lebouf strikes again!

Shia LaBeouf: the new Rob Granito.

I wonder if this has yet gone from angrily looking at a scummy Hollywood smartass plagiarist to sadly looking at a Hollywood washout with mental illness having a breakdown.

Courts ruled back in 1908, in the case of ‘Ben-Hur’, that you can’t turn a copyrighted book into a movie without permission. A very significant judgment which you’d think the Hollywood Reporter would be aware of.

Wow. He certainly isn’t shi-about it. Someone should steal from him and everything would be even-steven. Copying work and transforming it are two different things. The lawless theft of ideas is something they do on Wall Street. In Indiana, they jones to throw holes like him to the dark of the moon.

I’m just hoping that this wipes LaBeouf off the face of the earth. He is a shit actor and an entitled douchebag of the worst stripe. Thank you Spielberg for foisting him on the public after that shitty Disney channel show wrapped..That charmless, talentless waste is like a fat that won’t clear out of the only elevator in a building. At some point we all encounter him. Fuck you Steve

His transformers films are plagerized too.

Almost exactly as these toys i had in the 80s.

This is stupid, but its not lhe worst thing ever, right.

In terms of damage done to others, its minimal

You can do ‘damage’ to someone without physical violence, or nasty words.

If you’d ever do something that was worthy of duplication and plagiarism, you might understand.

Man I love these comments ,particularly yours @Tom, good stuff. Hopefully Shia will go away and we’ll be spared any more of his movies, not that I watch any but I don’t even want to accidentally see a preview of his.

To all the people saying it’s all a joke, you’re just buying into the narrative that Lebouf is trying to create and its infuriating. This is what happened. He stole the work of another. He got called on it and then tried to cover his tracks. He then evidently googled something about artists stealing and copied a quote from a yahoo answers post. Then when he got called on that, he decided to make the whole thing seem like a joke by copying other famous apologies in the hopes people would think it is a meme.

If this were a joke, why would he start with an obscure yahooanswers post? Why would he offend and screw over an artist? Would he be seeding this with all the other times he’s claimed words that weren’t his own.

Erech raises a good point, lots of (most) celebrities don’t handle their own Twitter or website or anything like that, they delegate it to their PR people most of the time. These are some truly outrageously terrible PR people.

For More, Just Ask

December 20, 2013 at 5:17 pm

I really hope Eriq Gardner isn’t a lawyer.

How the EFF to the rights owners of Rear Window LOSE the battle against Disturbia?! I had assumed it was just a PURPOSEFUL modern update of Rear Window!

By the same token, there probably isn’t a detective show that has existed in the last 20 years that HASN’T done a Rear Window episode, and the rights holders didn’t sue all those shows (from Castle to Remington Steele and I think even CSI did it [just googled -- it was CSI:NY]).

Oh, and Shia sucks. (Didn’t wanna miss out on that.)

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