Les Fowlie Intellectual Freedom Award

Earlier today, I received the Les Fowlie Intellectual Freedom Award from the Ontario Library Association at their annual SuperConference in Toronto.  The award comes for my work on copyright advocacy. As I told the conference, this award was particularly special to me.  First, I grew up in Toronto and greatly benefited from the work of Les Fowlie.  Second, the library community was a leader on copyright issues well before most people recognized why the issue is so important and it continues to speak forcefully for balanced copyright.  Third – and most importantly – I am sometimes asked whether those arguing for fair copyright are not really only in free access.  This award recognizes that it is not about free.  It is about freedom.


  1. Melissa Kaestner says:

    Congratulations! And it is amazing to have you advocate for freedom in copyright. It’s invaluable to have your insight and resources.

  2. Heather Morrison says:

    Congratulations, Michael – well deserved!!

    Without you you know what we’d have right now!!!!!!

    Michael Geist for Prime Minister…….

  4. pat donovan says:

    what is culture without history… fair comment and parody…

    how bout a parody of ENG news crews getting dinged for reporting ice sculptures?

    and life from ott U film soc/school?

    censoring via copyright a award for freedom thing?

  5. Freedom
    Nice. Congrats Michael!

    Your articles and work are the only thing out there with clarity that people can relate with and understand.

    Great job and well deserved reward!


  6. “This award recognizes that it is not about free. It is about freedom.”

    Very well put, and congrats!

  7. Marnie Tunay says:

    Fakirs Canada
    Congrats on your award, you deserve it. Now please do a post expounding on “… it is not about free. It is about freedom.” Because I don’t understand the difference well enough to be able to explain it – which means I don’t understand the difference.
    Marnie Tunay
    Fakirs Canada

  8. Re: Marnie Tunay
    This “war” is about freedom of choice, freedom of speech, and freedom of expression. One of the most excellent video’s that will get you a bit more up to speed is entitled “remix”:

    People in the creative industries often state that consumers are file sharing and breaking copyright laws because they want access to “free” stuff. Lobbying governments to put into place protections that will limit the freedom of speech, freedom of choice, and freedom of expression.

  9. Chris Bruner says:

    Good on you!

  10. Frédéric Mercille says:

    Congrats on a well deserved award. It’s good to see your hard work is being recognized.

  11. Judith Schuman (nee Fowlie) says:

    My dear Uncle Les would be thrilled with the work you are doing. This was a passion of his and it’s wonderful to know that you continue to advocate for freedom!