Friday, November 25, 2022

Photo of Professor Katz by Dewey Chang Photography

Associate Professor Ariel Katz (SJD 2005) has been honoured by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) with the Award of Merit.

The award is conferred on individuals who have made an outstanding local, regional, or national contribution within an area of research librarianship and whose contributions have had broad and beneficial impact within the CARL community. CARL presented the award to Professor Katz and Howard Knopf, Counsel with Ridout and Maybee LLP, in recognition of their long-standing, dedicated work to defend educational fair dealing and a non-mandatory tariff regime in Canada.

CARL’s announcement highlighted the critical role that Professor Katz and Knopf played 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. CARL also emphasized their expertise, collaborative spirit, and dedication to the public good.

In 2011, Professor Katz and Knopf wrote an intervener factum on behalf of the Faculty of Law’s 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. In 2015, they intervened together — with then Professor David Lametti — in the 2015 Supreme Court of Canada CBC v. SODRAC case, which ruled that: "licences fixed by the [Copyright] 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 reaffirmed that holding in the York University v. Access Copyright case in favour of universities, and held that universities are not required to operate under the terms of tariffs approved by the Copyright Board and retain the freedom to clear their copyright obligations for literary works without involving Access Copyright. The ruling in the case quoted from the factum Knopf drafted for CARL and agreed with CARL’s main submissions. The ruling also relied heavily on Professor Katz’s writings as an academic and submissions as an intervener in that case.

“Congratulations to Professor Katz on this recognition, which speaks to the impact of his research and policy recommendations,” said Jutta Brunnée, dean of the Faculty of Law, University Professor and James Marshall Tory Dean’s Chair. 

Katz teaches courses on intellectual property, constitutional law, and the intersection of competition law and intellectual property.