Shia LaBeouf's weird performance art continued this weekend, with the actor apologizing to Daniel Clowes for stealing his story by writing "I'm Sorry, Daniel Clowes" in the sky. Because the situation had to get more absurd somehow, Bleeding Cool rumormonger Rich Johnston "just remembered" he had LaBeouf's email address, so he contacted him and engaged the troubled actor in waxing philosophical. The result is a bizarre conversation that you can read in full here. Here's a taste:
RJ: Well, Warhol said art is what you can get away with. Gaugin went for “Art is either plagiarism or revolution”. Do you believe that opportunity is still valid, or is it all about plagiarism now?
As for “it wants to be fee” – is that a Freudian slip? Information may want to be free. But should the author be able to demand a fee?
SL: 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.
RJ: Jung said the only way to achieve true selfhood is to create what no one but you could possibly create and all the other stories are just guides to get us there.
I think God’s rights to rivers have entered into public domain now.
I don’t believe that parking violations deserve the death sentence. However fines are meant to be paid. If you park on someone else’s driveway, you should probably ask permission first. And hotwiring someone else’s car and taking it for a spin, is also frowned upon.
SL: The word law is against my principles.
The problem begins with the legal fact that authorship is inextricably
bound up in the idea of ownership and the idea of language as
Intellectual property. Language and ideas flow freely between people
Despite the law. It’s not plagiarism in the digital age – it’s repurposing.
Copyright law has to give up on its obsession with “the copy”
The law should not regulate “copy’s” or “reproductions” on there own.
It should instead regulate uses – like public distributions of copyrighted work -
That connect directly to the economic incentive copyright law was intended to foster.
The author was the person who had been authorized by the state to print there work.
They were the ones to be held accountable for the ideas.
THE FIRST LAWS ON AUTHORSHIP WERE USED TO CENSOR & PERSECUTE
THE WRITERS WHO DARED PUBLISH RADICAL IDEAS.
Simple – should creation have to check with a lawyer?
Fascinating stuff. On the one hand, we have Shia LaBeouf claiming that his plagiarism is really a fight for freedom, while on the other hand, we have Rich Johnston trying to convince people that he quotes philosophers in casual conversation. Boys, you're both pretty, okay?
We're sure this isn't the last we've seen of LaBeouf, but, on the bright side, he's probably damaged his reputation enough that it'll be a while before he ruins any more of our favorite childhood franchises.