Update: It seems ever LaBeouf's twitter apology where he says "Being inspired by someone else's idea to produce something new and different IS creative work.", is taken, word for word, from a Yahoo! Answers answer. Granted this isn't a very distinct sentence that is unique to this one answer I'm sure but even the emphasis on is is directly lifted. Oh Shia.
Shia LaBeouf maybe isn't the most likable of actors. His roles have seen him star in the trash Transformers films and as Indiana Jones' son. Building upon that assumption were stories of his run ins with the law which include a few arrests. All the sudden LaBeouf was more of a troubled actor than a serious artist but that's something he's never accepted. Since his peak in the mid-2000s LaBeouf has been starring in fewer films, taking on more serious secondary roles in films like Lawless and the upcoming Nymphomaniac. This new status wouldn't come instantly or without hard work but for a bit there LaBeouf looked to be turning a corner from another Disney burnout to a real force within the acting world. And then he made a short film.
Last May, at the Cannes film festival, Labeouf's film called Howard Cantour premiered. What nobody noticed until the film finally premiered on the internet was where the story about a dissatisfied film critic came from. After only a few hours after it went up on Monday the people power of the internet noticed that the story was almost identical to Daniel Clowes' comic from 2007 called Justin M. Damiano. LaBeouf has been noted as a fan of Clowes' comics before but according to Clowes and his publisher they weren't approached or asked about Clowes' work being turned into any shorts films.
The film has since been pulled from Vimeo and LaBeouf took to twitter to express some of his sentiments in the matter including:
In my excitement and naiveté as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation
It's clear from his tweets that Shia essentially messed up. Perhaps he got too into his work and simply wanted to make a good movie. Or maybe he assumed someone else would handle it. Or if you want to be cynical, maybe he thought no one would notice. Either way plagiarism and copyright violations aren't things to be taken lightly and you would think an actor, especially one who has been and around the entertainment industry for so long, would know where that line between fair use and infringement is.