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Advisory: Documents Provided to Karl Auerbach

4 August 2002

Marina del Rey, California, USA (4 August 2002) -- The litigation between ICANN and one of its Directors, Karl Auerbach, has been an unfortunate episode. While all ICANN documents and records are and have always been available for inspection by all its Directors, ICANN did not believe that Mr. Auerbach, or any other single Director, should have the unilateral right to decide, regardless of the views of the rest of ICANN's Board, which of these documents should be published and which should be kept confidential. Mr. Auerbach took the position that he had the right to make those determinations unilaterally, while ICANN took the position that its procedures could require an individual Director to present any disputes between the Board and the Director to a court.

The Los Angeles Superior Court has ruled that neither position is correct under California law. The Court ordered that ICANN cannot itself place any restrictions on a Director's right to disclose materials, but that Mr. Auerbach must give ten days notice to ICANN before any such disclosures, and that the Court will resolve any disputes ICANN presents within that ten-day period.

Last Friday, ICANN provided Mr. Auerbach with materials in electronic form that do not raise confidentiality issues. Because this was never, as some have assumed, an effort to preserve as secret information for which there is no legitimate rationale for confidentiality, ICANN has posted on its website copies of all materials provided on Friday to Mr. Auerbach:

In the coming week, ICANN will provide Mr. Auerbach with various materials involving confidentiality considerations. The parties will work to appropriately address those considerations.