If you thought it was bizarre that Mr X was Colin Craig wait until you read this

Colin Craig (both of them) with the interviewer and Mr X

Colin Craig (both of them) with the interviewer and Mr X   Photo/NZ Herald

When Colin Craig held his press conference and announced that he was suing me for defamation and had also printed a pamphlet and sent it to every household in New Zealand, I saw there was something familiar in the pamphlet.

He had used one of my photos. Initially I thought it was a Getty Image but I checked with them and they confirmed that it wasn’t one of their images, but was one of the five images their photographer took that I own the rights to exclusively. Colin Craig had taken one of my photos, edited it in the background then used it twice in his defamatory pamphlet to attack me. He never asked for permission, nor would it have been given.

So I invoiced him for it. It is my intellectual property and I own all the rights to it. He can’t use my property to attack me.

His response was to tell me to nick off and to threaten me to drop my claims or he would charge me for ‘using’ his poem “The Two of Me“. Understandably I thought he was crazy even suggesting that.

I didn’t think he could be any more crazy but yesterday he went full retard and actually did bill me for ‘use’ of his poem…a poem he has previously said that I fabricated. Well that little falsehood is well and truly busted.

I replied to Colin Craig and copied in media who have now picked it up.

Stacey Kirk at Fairfax covers the story best.

Colin Craig appears to have admitted a poem allegedly written for his former press-secretary Rachel MacGregor, is one of his original works.

He is now attempting to invoice WhaleOil blogger Cameron Slater $15,000 for it, after Slater published the leaked poem on his site.

In the latest twist of a drawn-out series of events, Craig is also demanding Slater retract the blog post, and “provide written apology to me for using my work without permission”.

The poem, called Two of Me, spoke of how there could be two of the author; “that would be one for all the others and one of me, for you”.   

It was published by Slater in June, on the day Craig stepped down as leader from the Conservative Party he founded.

It emerged then that Craig was at the centre of allegations he sexually harassed MacGregor.

The former leader has denied the allegations, but admitted there had been “inappropriate behaviour”.

MacGregor has never commented on the saga, except once via a statement through her lawyers that there were “factual inaccuracies” in a statement made by Craig.

She later tweeted he was “trying to frame me as a mistress. There was never a sexual relationship…”

In an email on Monday to Slater, Craig appeared to admit the poem was of his own pen, claiming a “copyright dispute”.

He said he “withdrawn” a “previous offer” and demanded payment of “$3000 per month for the display of my work to the public in clear breach of copyright”.

Slater, who copied media into the email exchange, responded by saying it was “the most bizarre email I have ever received.”

“Firstly there was never an offer to settle from you, just a list of demands with nothing in return.

“The irony of you now invoicing me for the Two of Me poem (which you originally alleged was a fabrication) from a company called Craig and Craig is comically genius.”

Yep, “Creative Colin” really did invoice me for his poem…at $3000 per month for five months.

Here is the email exchange in the interests of transparency.

From: Colin Craig
To: Cam Slater

Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 5:06 PM

Good Afternoon Cameron

Further to the matter of copyright which is in dispute between us.

I advise that my previous offer to settle this matter is withdrawn.

I also advise that in respect of the publication of my work I require the following:

1.       That you retract the publication (remove the blog post).

2.       That you provide written apology to me for using my work without permission.

3.       That you pay me $3000 per month for the display of my work to the public in clear breach of copyright. Please find attached an invoice for the same.

I see that this matter is to go before the disputes tribunal in the New Year. I look forward to their judgement on this matter.

Thank you

Colin Craig

To which I replied:

From: Cam Slater
To: Colin Craig
Cc: Media Mail list

Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Dear Colin,

This has to be the most bizarre email I have ever received.

Firstly there was never an offer to settle from you, just a list of demands with nothing in return.

The irony of you now invoicing me for the “Two of Me” poem (which you originally alleged was a fabrication) from a company called Craig and Craig is comically genius.

Was this email written by someone else (perhaps another Colin, one of the two) and a hoax or does this email reflect your reality (or one of them)?

I was wondering if you make a habit of billing media for your ‘works’? Your booklet ‘Dirty Politics and Hidden Agendas’ was certainly a work of fiction the likes of which hasn’t been seen in NZ politics before.

I am also wondering if you and Mrs Craig “agree with every statement or endorse all viewpoints” in your email to me. I ask because you clearly didn’t endorse the comments of the Interviewer (You) or Mr X (also you) according to the statement on the booklet.

On a more serious note, your pamphlet alleged that this material was made up or fabricated, yet now you are invoicing me and claiming ownership of a poem that was published in the public interest sent by yourself to your former press secretary who has alleged that you sexually harassed her.
Kind Regards
Cam Slater

The case is now before the Disputes Tribunal as it is under $15,000 and that means no lawyers…just me and Colin Craig (the two of them), Mr X, the interviewer and whatever other personalities he may or may not have.

At least though we now know several things…that Colin Craig invented an interview with himself as the interviewer and the interviewee (Mr X), and that contrary to his claims to the media and in the pamphlet and in various proceedings, the poem was actually written by him and sent to his former private secretary. I mean how else could I be invoiced for it if he didn’t write it?

What I want to know and have yet to get an answer for is, if I pay the invoice and then have the right to publish the poem, can I then publish the rest of it? And the other hand written poem I have?

 

– Fairfax


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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