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Julian Assange: #Canongate III

The #Canongate transcripts are published.

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EDINBURGH (Rixstep) — The WikiLeaks crew aren't often caught with their knickers down. You'd think the mental midgets of the world would have learned their lesson by now. But following the subversive publication of a 'book' that's sloppier than the minimum opus by Leigh/Harding - and what appears for now to be an organised smear & sleaze campaign - the correspondence between Julian Assange, his agent Caroline Michel, Canongate producer Nick Davies (no relation) and Jamie Byng has been published in toto by that renowned whistleblower website.


Time for the jackals to again run for cover.


Julian Assange inked a deal with Canongate's Jamie Byng a while back. The idea was to produce an 'autobiography' with enough space left over for a 'manifesto'. A professional ghostwriter was called in to help.

After 50 hours of taped interviews, Assange and the ghostwriter called for a break. Assange didn't like the way the book was turning out and wanted to get the project back on track.

Thus began the correspondence between Canongate's Jamie Byng, Julian's agent Caroline Michel, and people at WikiLeaks. And so the project seemed to get back on track to produce the 'real' book everyone wanted for an early 2012 release.

But that's only the way it looked. Byng had something else up his blue blood sleeve. Byng printed a 'book' - which he called an 'unauthorised autobiography' [sic] - and sent it out to WHSmith and Waterstone's outlets in the UK in 'stealth', knowing Assange could have injuncted if he'd known.

Following are excerpts from Jamie Byng's 'oh so sweet' correspondence right up until the 'betrayal'.

24 August 2011

Julian's literary agent Caroline Michel writes to Joseph Farrell and encloses a note to Julian. The key points are that she's setting up a meeting with Canongate's Byng and they're even talking about WikiLeaks cookbooks and printing the entire Cablegate.

'I cannot see a downside in delivering a book with your message and your story. It was fascinating sitting and listening to you yesterday talking about your story. You have so much to tell and there is an international publishing network ready to take your book and your message and create a platform and a profile with this book that is not corrupted by other people's opinions and views. I think if we could aim for a Spring 2012 publication and work a timetable that gets us there.'

12 September 2011

Julian's legal counsel Herbert Smith fires off a missive to Canongate, reminding them the material is not theirs to do with as they please, but offering to cooperate for a premature publication as long as certain minimum requirements are met.

'Mr Assange is the owner of the copyright in the draft manuscript, whether it was written by him or his collaborator. As copyright owner, Mr Assange has the exclusive right to copy the work or issue copies of the work to the public [section 16 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (the 'Act')]. It is an infringement to copy the work or issue copies to public [section 17 and 18 of the Act].'

21 September 2011

Caroline Michel writes to Jamie Byng re the Canongate press statement earlier the same day, particularly denouncing the story given to the Independent.

'There has been no 'bitter and acrimonious row'. Julian at all times has been courteous. You are feeding the media myth and it is not worthy of comment. Julian has never attempted to injunct, he tried to cancel not suppress, you never took delivery of the foreign sales money.'

'Going to be a Lovely Day'

The WikiLeaks crew have also published transcripts of phone conversations with Canongate's Jamie Byng.

8 June 2011

A conversation between Julian and Jamie.

Julian: I'll be completely straight with you. I'm being buried: the grand jury, FSI money issues, we have people missing. At least until the Swedish case ends that is how my life is: full of constant struggles and interventions. I can't not respond to the things that put me and the organisation in jeopardy.
Jamie: I know and I think that's sensible. I'm really with you on this. We have to cancel the contract as it is because it doesn't seem it'll be a memoir.

16 June 2011

A conversation between Julian and Jamie.

Julian: I hear some noises about people looking to publish unauthorised copies of my manuscript.
Jamie: No. That is absolutely not what we are going to do or want to do.

10 July 2011

Jamie sends b-day wishes via SMS, lamenting he can't attend the bash.

'As I feared, getting to Ellingham for Julian's 40th simply isn't going to be possible. But I am in London on Monday and Tuesday. Would love to see Julian even very briefly. Send him my best. It looks like it is going to be a lovely day.'

My precious!
 - Gollum
My manuscript!
 - Byng
Yeah. Can it possibly be true? It a worry, isn't it? That the rest of the world's media is doing such a bad job that a little group of activists is able to release more of that type of information than the rest of the world press combined.
 - Julian Assange Oxford 2010

See Also
Rixstep Industry Watch: Julian Assange: #Canongate I
Rixstep Industry Watch: Julian Assange: #Canongate II
Magnetic Times: Christine Assange recalls her Magnetic Island days
The Bookseller: Assange misses chart as September slump continues
WikiLeaks: Statement on the Publishing of the Julian Assange 'Autobiography'

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