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Shia LaBeouf could face legal action for copying idea

2013-12-19 16:01
Shia LaBeouf
Los Angeles — There may be legal ramifications for Shia LaBeouf after he acknowledged borrowing from another artist's work without giving proper credit.

LaBeouf debuted his short film, Howard Cantour.com, online on Monday starring Jim Gaffigan. It examines the life of an anguished online film critic. That was also the story line of a 2007 graphic novella by artist Daniel Clowes titled Justin M. Damiano.

Clowes declined to comment directly, but according to his publisher, Fantographics' Eric Reynolds, Clowes "is exploring his legal options."

Reynolds said Wednesday he was "baffled" by the news of LaBeouf's project, which he and Clowes got wind of on Monday.

"LaBeouf changed the name of the main character, but he used the comic as a direct script and storyboard," Reynolds said. "Clowes has a real melodramatic voice that is very idiosyncratic and LaBeouf just used the dialogue word for word. There is no ambiguity. There is no way that anybody wrote this but Dan Clowes. It just defies any kind of logic or good sense. This was so blatant and inexcusable that it was as baffling as it was appalling."

LaBeouf's short began to circulate in 2012 at festivals like the Cannes Film Festival, but was just posted online officially on Monday. Soon afterward, it was taken down, and LaBeouf took to Twitter to apologize for lifting ideas from Clowes' work and passing them off as his own.

Under the handle @thecampaignbook, LaBeouf said:

LaBeouf added :

Reynolds added that LaBeouf has not made any attempts to reach out to Clowes directly to apologise. "As far as I know the only comments he has given were those late night Twitter comments a few nights ago," said Reynolds.

Read more on:    shia labeouf  |  books  |  celebrities  |  movies

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