CARL Honours Ariel Katz and Howard Knopf with Award of Merit

Pictured left to right: Victoria Owen, CARL VPO – Marrakesh Treaty Implementation, Ariel Katz, Howard Knopf, and Susan Haigh, CARL Executive Director.

November 17, 2022 – The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) is pleased to present Ariel Katz and Howard Knopf with the CARL Award of Merit, which is conferred on individuals who have made outstanding local, regional, or national contributions within an area of research librarianship and whose contributions have had broad and beneficial impact within the CARL community.

In recognition of their long-standing, dedicated work to defend educational fair dealing and a non-mandatory tariff regime in Canada, Ariel Katz and Howard Knopf were presented with the Award of Merit at a ceremony in Ottawa during the CARL Fall General Meeting.

Pictured from left to right: Vivian Lewis, CARL President, Ariel Katz, Howard Knopf, and Susan Haigh, CARL Executive Director.

“In their own work and in collaboration with CARL, [Ariel Katz and Howard Knopf] have played critical roles in defending universities’ rights to manage copyright, including guiding users’ exercise of fair dealing without being subject to a mandatory tariff regime by a copyright collective, and in defending user rights as a whole. In my years as a CARL library director, on the CARL Board, and as Chair of the Policy Committee, I was continually impressed with their expertise, collaborative spirit, and dedication to the public good.” – Martha Whitehead, Vice President for the Harvard Library and University Librarian

Howard Knopf is Counsel with Ridout and Maybee LLP, in Ottawa and was CARL’s legal counsel for our intervention at the Supreme Court of Canada in the York University v. Access Copyright case. He has worked mainly in the areas of copyright, trademarks, cyberlaw, competition and related issues, served as the Chair of the Copyright Policy Committee of the Canadian Bar Association, and was advisor to the Law Commission of Canada on security interests in intellectual property. As an adjunct professor of law, he frequently lectures at the invitation of the judiciary, government officials, law schools, continuing legal education fora, the World Intellectual Property Organization and various NGO’s, including the Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs. He has published extensively, both as author and editor. Since 2000, he has been a member of the faculty of the Fordham Annual Conference on International Intellectual Property Law and Policy. As one of Canada’s premier experts in copyright law, he has appeared before the Copyright Board, the Canadian Artists and Producers Professional Relations Tribunal, the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Canada, and maintains a blog on copyright law.

Howard continues to engage in dialogue with CARL on various matters related to copyright and other policy areas, often on a pro-bono or reduced rate basis as we explore the possibility of bringing together collective voices on intellectual property issues of national importance.

Ariel Katz is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto. Professor Katz received his LL.B. and LL.M from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his SJD from the University of Toronto. Prior to joining the University of Toronto, Professor Katz was a staff attorney at the Israeli Antitrust Authority.  His academic research involves economic analysis of competition law and intellectual property law, with allied interests in electronic commerce, pharmaceutical regulation, the regulation of international trade, and particularly the intersection of these fields. Between 2009 and 2012 Professor Katz was the Director of the Centre for Innovation Law and Policy.

Professor Katz currently teaches courses on intellectual property, cyberlaw, and the intersection of competition law and intellectual property, and shares some of his current thoughts on these issues on his blog.

In 2011, Professor Katz and Howard Knopf wrote an intervener factum on behalf of the Centre for Innovation Law and Policy in Alberta (Education) v Access Copyright. Their factum was pivotal to the Supreme Court’s decision in that case, which affirmed the broad applicability of fair dealing in the educational context.  Professor Katz and Professor David Lametti, as he then was, intervened with Howard Knopf as Counsel in the 2015 Supreme Court of Canada CBC v. SODRAC case, which ruled that “…licences fixed by the Board do not have mandatory binding force over a user; the Board has the statutory authority to fix the terms of licences … but a user retains the ability to decide whether to become a licensee and operate pursuant to that licence, or to decline.”

On July 30, 2021, the Supreme Court of Canada released its ruling in the York University v. Access Copyright case in favour of universities, which affirmed that a tariff is not mandatory and, thus, gives universities the freedom to clear their copyright obligations for literary works without involving Access Copyright. The ruling in the case quoted from the factum Howard Knopf drafted for CARL and agreed with CARL’s main submissions. The ruling also referenced Professor Katz’s writings (who also intervened in that case).

When it comes to whether copyright tariffs are mandatory in Canada, it is undeniable that Ariel Katz’s articles “Spectre: Canadian Copyright and the Mandatory Tariff,” (Parts I and II) published in two parts in 2015 in the Intellectual Property Journal, have played an important role in recent years in persuading the courts that such tariffs are not in fact mandatory.

CARL would like to congratulate Ariel Katz and Howard Knopf on this very well-deserved award and thank them for their ongoing support of CARL’s advocacy initiatives in this arena.