Here are my current thoughts on the open letter from Juan Luis Garcia to Spike Lee.
Garcia admits it was his blunder to do spec work in the first place, which freelancers are constantly advised not to do, but that part is irrelevant either way. If Garcia is real and his story is real, he deserves satisfaction from the agency for using work which he did not sell to them, and then harassing him for complaining.
On the other hand, I don't see what he has to gain by ostensibly appealing to Spike Lee's sympathies as a fellow artist, but really, it seems to me, hoping public sentiment will guilt Spike into doing… what? Why would Spike inject himself into a legal matter between Garcia and the agency?
Let me digress for a moment. I'm a computer programmer. I'm on a number of mailing lists where people ask questions about programming and other people answer them, purely voluntarily. On these lists, there is such a thing as a good question and a bad question. A good question describes the problem and what efforts the person made to solve it. A question that boils down to "Do my homework for me" is likely to be answered with irritation and the counter-question "What have you tried?"
What has Garcia tried? It seems he tried everything except legal recourse or even the threat thereof. If he has a case that will hold up in court, and the way he tells it, he should have a pretty darn good one, then an open letter to Spike Lee is the least efficient way to get satisfaction. Many worthy causes are promoted online; the Internet is hugely important that way. This is not one of them.
On Twitter, Spike Lee's response was not as gracious or neutral in tone as many would have liked:
I Never Heard Of This Guy Juan Luis Garcia,If He Has A Beef It's Not With Me.I Did Not Hire Him,Do Not Know Him.Cheap Trick Writing To Me.YO
Spike's gotten a lot of negative responses to this, and I know he was already far from universally liked even before this episode. But whether you like Spike or not, Garcia's beef isn't with him, it's with the agency. And writing the open letter to Spike is a trick tactic; by Garcia's own admission, he decided to skip whatever advice his attorney gave him and try an end run. Yet I see tweets from people concluding that Spike Lee deserves to have his own work stolen because he won't intervene in this case.
I'll be interested to hear more solid information if it ever becomes available. Not edge-of-my-seat interested, but interested. And I'm leaning toward seeing Oldboy regardless.