ICANN’s upcoming meeting in June, which I mentioned earlier, is due to be held in person in The Hague. In order to attend you will need to register online in advance. That’s not so odd.
What is, however, is the very broad sweeping waiver they expect you to agree to.
I’m not a lawyer, but I have had to review hundreds of contracts and agreements over the past 20 odd years. While it would make sense that an event organiser would want to have some level of protection from frivolous claims the waiver ICANN is forcing you to agree to goes much much further.
For example they have one line which reads:
I knowingly and freely assume all risks related to illness and infectious diseases, including but not limited to COVID-19, even if arising from the negligence or fault of ICANN
The first part of that is not strange. We now live in a world where references to infectious diseases are fairly normal. However the second part of it is not normal. I don’t think they can magically force attendees to let an event organiser waive its obligations in this manner.
There’s a bunch of other stuff in there that seems a little “off” but the final waiver section tries to make sure that ICANN trumps everything:
I hereby knowingly assume all risks, and covenant not to sue any employees, board members, agents, executives, contractors or volunteers of ICANN or its affiliate for any expense, loss, damage, personal injury, including loss of life, illness, including but not limited to COVID-19, disability, property damage, or property theft or actions of any kind that I may hereafter suffer or sustain before, during, or after the Event, unless said expense, loss, damage, personal injury, including loss of life, illness, disability, property damage or property theft or actions of any kind is caused by the sole, gross negligence of ICANN or its affiliate.
Huh? That sentence, apart from being very long, is trying to do a LOT. It sounds like they’re expecting you to set aside a lot of your rights.
You can read the entire document here – I grabbed it as a PDF.
For now I won’t be registering to attend.
Update: more here.