Shia LaBeouf Apologizes for Plagiarism With Plagiarized Apology

Shia LaBeouf has once again landed in the news, and this time it doesn’t involve Alec Baldwin or Steven Spielberg. Here’s the story in a nutshell. LaBeouf released a short film starring Jim Gaffigan, entitled HowardCantour.com. Online bloggers quickly noticed its likeness to artist Daniel Clowes’ 2007 graphic novella Justin M. Damiano. According to Deadline, this likeness included, “word-for-word dialogue and visuals lifted directly from the original.” LaBeouf attempted to squirm out of the public’s backlash by announcing his amateur status as a filmmaker (you know . . . because new filmmakers know nothing about plagiarism). Then, in what can only be described as both brilliant and insane, LaBeouf issued another apology, which mimics Tiger Woods’s mea culpa, saying, “I have let my family down, and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart.” You have to hand it to the guy. If you’re going to plagiarize your plagiarism apology, you might as well get creative.

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Lindsay Lohan v. Pitbull — Plagiarism, Corruption, & Blame Games

WRITTEN BY RIK SAULT, GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Lindsay_LohanIn 2011, Lindsay Lohan filed suit against Pitbull for using her name in the lyrics to “Give Me Everything,” in which Pitbull proclaims, “I got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan.” Lohan alleged that this violated her privacy and publicity rights and caused her emotional distress.

Late last week, Lohan’s lawsuit was dismissed. US District Judge Denis Hurley ruled that the lyrics are a protected work of art under the First Amendment, and that even though the song was created and distributed to make a profit Lohan’s name was not “used for ‘advertising’ or ‘purposes of trade’ within the meaning of the New York Civil Rights Law.”

In Pitbull’s countersuit, his attorneys asked the court to sanction Lohan for filing a frivolous claim. The judge did not find Lohan’s suit to be frivolous, but he did impose a $1,500 fine on Lohan’s Long Island attorney, Stephanie G. Ovadia, for an “affront to the court,” — the briefs she filed were plagiarized from various sources. The judge said that “the vast majority of the opposition appears to have been taken from other sources without any acknowledgment or identification of those sources.” Moreover, while trying to defend or excuse the plagiarism, Lohan’s attorney made certain representations to the court that the judge found to be “undoubtedly false.”

In a smashing display of grace under fire, the Long Island attorney – who hired another attorney, Pery Krinsky, for the sanctions motion – tried to blame an attorney from Queens for the plagiarism, submitting that the Queens attorney acted as co-counsel for Lohan in the suit against Pitbull.

When reached for comment; however, the Queens attorney said he was not co-counsel for Lohan. “I do not believe in blame games,” he said, adding that he filed papers with the court that affirmed he was not co-counsel. “My affidavit clearly says that I was not an attorney for her.”

There are at least two lessons to be learned here. One, rap is an art, so don’t hesitate to express yourself. Two, Lindsay Lohan should not be allowed to choose her own attorney.

Did Beyonce Rip-Off Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Choreography?

Beyonce sure gets accused of plagiarism a lot. The latest exercise of finger-pointing involves Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, who accused Beyonce of ripping off her ‘Rosas danst Rosas’ and ‘Achterland’ choreography for Beyonce’s ‘Countdown’ video. I’ve watched the comparisons, and it’s alarmingly similar. When addressing the controversy, the famed choreographer said:

I’m not mad, but this is plagiarism. This is stealing. What’s rude about it is that they don’t even bother about hiding it. They seem to think they could do it because it’s a famous work. When I saw the actual video, I was struck by the resemblance of Beyonce’s clip not only with the movements from Rosas danst Rosas but also with the costumes, the set and even the shots from the film by Thierry De Mey. There are protocols and consequences to such actions, and I can’t imagine she and her team are not aware of it.

I’d give Beyonce the benefit of the doubt, but this is a consistent accusation. Her performance at the 2010 Billboard Music Awards, for example, was a blatant rip-off of a Lorella Cuccarini performance. She avoided responsibility by saying she discovered Cuccarini from YouTube and she was “inspired.” And lets not forget that her very famous ‘Single Ladies’ choreography was “inspired” by Bob Fosse’s ‘Mexican Breakfast‘ routine. There’s a fine line between inspiration and plagiarism. Watch the clip below to see the similarity.

Vintage Quote-of-the-Day — Led Zeppelin’s Plagiarism

“Well, if you listen to the two songs, you can make your own judgment. It’s an exact… I’d say it was a rip-off. And the guys made millions of bucks on it and never said, “Thank you,” never said, “Can we pay you some money for it?” It’s kind of a sore point with me. Maybe some day their conscience will make them do something about it. I don’t know. There are funny business dealings between record companies, managers, publishers, and artists. But when artists do it to other artists, there’s no excuse for that. I’m mad! [laughs]” The late Randy California of the band ‘Spirit, ‘ discussing how Led Zeppelin ripped-off of his song, ‘Taurus,’ for the intro to  ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ Listen to the two songs below.

 

Eddy Grant Accuses Gorillaz of Ripping off His Song

Eddy Grant has accused Gorillaz of ripping off his song, ‘Time Warp,’ for their new song, ‘Stylo.’  Because Grant and Gorillaz share the same label, Grant is pissed at EMI for not alerting him to the rip-off.  I have listened to both songs and definitely see similarities, though I don’t know that it’s blazingly obvious.  Listen below and see what you think.