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Response to Hissyspit (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 8, 2012, 02:53 PM

5. Julian Assange autobiography: why he didn't want it published

Memoir looked set to make the WikiLeaks founder and publisher Canongate a fortune then the arguments started
David Leigh, James Ball and Esther Addley
Thursday 22 September 2011 16.47 EDT

... To complete the picture of acrimony, Assange went on to publicly denounce his former lawyers, claiming they were sitting on his publishers' advance of 412,000, which they were holding to cover their legal fees. Assange's allegations of "extreme overcharging" were rapidly denied by the London media firm of Finers, Stephens, Innocent (FSI) ...

A book deal was drawn up and clinched by the London literary agent Caroline Michel, under which Canongate, the innovative Scottish firm run by Jamie Byng, and the US publishers Knopf agreed to pay 600,000 and $800,000 respectively for the rights, with Knopf paying $250,000 (162,000) in advance. Canongate also agreed to pay upfront O'Hagan's ghostwriting fee, believed to exceed 100,000.

Assange already seemed to have the possibility in mind that he might withdraw from the deal. Sources close to the Canongate negotiations say he demanded a deal that he could keep 125,000 of the advance whatever happened. Byng laughed this out of court, responding according to correspondence seen by the Guardian: "We cannot accept the idea that regardless of whether Julian delivers (or regardless of what he delivers or regardless of when he delivers), he will keep 125,000."

Canongate also negotiated a crucial loophole in the contract, which it was eventually to invoke ... "If the manuscript has not been delivered by the prescribed date or its final form is not acceptable to the Publisher, the Publisher has the right to decide whether to continue to publish the Work. If the Publisher decides to continue to publish the Work the Proprietor agrees that all typescript or notes relevant to the said Work shall belong to the Publisher" ...


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