I've been staying away from Shia LaBeouf updates because, frankly, fuck that guy, but this shit just got good. You'll recall that Shia was revealed to have stolen a Dan Clowes comic for his critically-praised short film HowardCantour.com, and then he proceeded to plagiarize apologies on Twitter. Yesterday he upped the crazy ante by hiring a skywriter to write an apology to Clowes in the heavens above Los Angeles - a stunt at best, since Clowes lives in Oakland.
Then it got good, and so I have to dive back in. The skywriting was a cry for attention, but that prompted Bleeding Cool to use an old email address they had lying around to try and contact Shia to find out what he's up to. And it turns out he's a revolutionary warrior battling against restrictive intellectual property! All the people who were arguing in my "How Copyright Law Gave Us Star Wars" piece - Shia speaks for you! This is pretty much what you sound like:
Authorship is censorship
Should God sue me if I paint a river?
I recognize these dumb talking points!
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” [Bleeding Cool notes here that he's 'quoting' Lawrence Lessig]
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?
And then the coup de grace:
Nothing is original
Creativity is just connecting things
Spoken, I believe, like a true non-creative. Anyone who tells you that nothing is original or that everything is a remix is someone who has never - and will never - create something. We can get all philosophical and say that the elements of the universe exist and that nothing else can be created, only brought to be by recombining the existing elements, but that's the sort of stoned sophomore bullshit that everybody hates. Creation is an evolutionary feat, one built upon generations that came before, but that doesn't make the newest leap of creation less impressive. Nothing begins in a vaccum, but nobody is claiming it does. What Shia - and many who hate IP law - seems to think is that creators claim that they walked from the darkness bringing a newly hatched idea unseen by any other human, which is simply not the case. In fact, what LaBeouf is doing is claiming authorship by cutting out the originators of the ideas he's stealing.
Inspiration is the 'just connecting things' part of Shia's stupid interview. You become inspired when you see one thing juxtaposed with another thing and it sparks a new idea in your head. A new idea - not just taking the old idea you saw and repurposing it or adding sex to it. The mystery of inspiration is the way that each of us gets different things from it - I can sit next to someone at a movie and have a totally different inspiration walking out of it than they did. That's exciting, and it's magical and it's personal.
Anyway, here's the figurehead for the fanfiction/anti-restrictive IP movement. You get the leader you deserve, I guess.
There's more to the interview. Read it here. In the words of Shia LaBeouf, "Live good player."