Wikileaks founder Julian Assange protests unauthorized publication of biography

Well, hello, irony: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange today condemned his British book publisher for releasing drafts of a much-anticipated memoir without his approval—but he won't be returning the £500,000 ($779,000) advance he received months ago:

British publisher Canongate announced that the book, billed as an "unauthorized autobiography," will go on sale in stores and online Thursday. Canongate - which paid the 40-year-old Assange for the rights to the memoir last year - said that Assange began working with a ghostwriter on the book, but later backed out and tried to cancel his contract.

Related coverage at Wired News. Wired.com's Kim Zetter reports that "Despite his objections over memoir he authorized-then-unauthorized, Assange will still keep his book advance and earn royalties on sales."

(Image above: The book cover, via @tim)

20

  1. Assange isn’t ‘nothing.’ He started WikiLeaks in 2006, long before Manning. He had a vision that the internet and information leaks could change the world, and they have. I’m no Assange fanboi, but please.

    Also, my money’s on a ploy between A and his publisher to enhance controversy around the book and boost sales.

    1. I liked you comment and I think you are spot-on about the ploy to boost controversy.  I’ll bet federated Media has a financial interest in this too.  That’s why its posted on Boing-Boing.  can we really trust Boing-Boing’s neutrality?  ‘Oh, there just harmless cultural critics, lefties, you know.’ THEY WANT TO CONTROL OUR MINDS!   

  2. Assange will still keep his book advance and earn royalties on sales.

    Unless people who are interested in this sort of thing somehow devise a way to distribute documents on the internet for free, anyway.

    1. I seem to recall that as part of its mission to expose secrets Wikileaks received and made freely available the manuscript of a book (on corruption in Kenya, iirc), which just destroyed the life of its author, who had to deal not only with the anger of the people he’d named, but also with the loss of any hope of earning money from his years of work.

      1. “… which just destroyed the life of its author, who had to deal not only with the anger of the people he’d named, but also with the loss of any hope of earning money from his years of work.”

        A couple of points:
        He is a she – the author Michela Wrong.
        Her life was not destroyed. A Guardian article says she was (unsurprisingly) pissed off, certainly, but her career seems to be going well by the look of her website.
        There was no mention in the Guardian article of her having to, “deal… with the anger of the people he’d named”. And I can’t find reference to it anywhere but in your accusation. So please, if you can rattle your brain and recall where you saw this…

        If you feel for the injustice done to the author, and are interested in human rights issues in Africa, please buy her books. They’re all available in the US.

  3. ‘he won’t be returning the £500,000 ($779,000) advance’  This is so obviously a hoax.  he does after all get to keep a handsome financial benefit.  He doesn’t have to go on a promotional tour; that’s got to be worth something. 

    1. I agree 100%, since when does a publisher go through all the trouble of releasing a “draft”. There is so much involved between the “draft” phase and the front window bookshelf display. Makes me sick to my stomach that Assange is becoming quite the social media manipulative trickster, a non-anarchist. 

      1. I agree 100%, since when does a publisher go through all the trouble of releasing a “draft”.

        When it’s the only way to recoup the advance that’s already been spent. It’s kind of like auctioning off the contents of a locker for unpaid rent.

  4. By bitching about it, he manages to get even more interest in the draft and ultimately the book. Its like narcissism with compound interest.

  5. Huh. Unauthorized. Go figger.

    Hey, Julian… does “too bad” work for you? I know it sucks and all, but seriously, did you somehow expect this not to happen?

    Just be glad you’re not Sarah Palin. Sucks to be her. well, except for the money, of course…

  6. Yawn, is this obnoxious jerk still walking the streets? Half a million quid for self promotion in the art of peddling stolen data? Investigative journalism and the leaking of information on a specific subject is fair enough in my books but the industrial warehousing and distribution of random private information is just childish and dangerous. Personally I hope the angry Swedish broads get him in front of a court and take him apart for his discourteous behavior as he clearly has no conscience, just a giant ego.

Comments are closed.