Announcing the Open Source Property Casebook

Straight from Jeremy Sheff:
On behalf of myself and my co-authors (Steve Clowney, James Grimmelmann, Mike Grynberg, and Rebecca Tushnet), I am pleased to announce the immediate availability of Open-Source Property, a completely free casebook for the 1L Property Law course. We would like to ask you to share this announcement with readers of the PropertyProf Blog, and spread the word among your colleagues who teach Property Law.

Open-Source Property is a comprehensive, high-quality teaching resource with substantial advantages over commercial casebooks:
– It’s Free. Open-Source Property is distributed completely free online, in multiple formats.
 It’s Easy to Use. Open-Source Property comes with teacher’s manuals and slides. We also encourage adopters to submit their own teaching materials to be shared on the instructors page of our website. (The instructors page is password protected; please email me  from your institutional email account to request a password).
– It’s Flexible. You can choose to download a complete casebook that has already been tested in the field by the authors. Or you can mix, match, and edit chapters, right in Microsoft Word, to achieve your preferred coverage profile. Our individual chapters cover all the basics, from Finders to Future Interests to Takings, as well as more specialized topics such as Intellectual Property and Property Rights in Human Beings.
– It’s Open-Source. Open-Source Property is licensed under a CC-BY-NC 4.0 license. You are free to copy it, use it, redistribute it, and edit it under the terms of the non-commercial license. In fact, we encourage adopters to submit their own contributions and their own builds of the casebook to be posted on the casebook website.
We hope you will visit us at to check out Open-Source Property and consider adopting it as your casebook. If you do, please let us know! And if you have any questions or comments regarding the casebook, or if you just need some encouragement and support to make the switch, feel free to email us at, or to find me at the AALS Annual Meeting in San Francisco next month. We are here to make it easy for you to do your students and yourself a favor by moving to a free, open-source course text.
In the meantime, you can watch for updates by following us on Twitter  or liking us on Facebook.
As a personal note, I enjoyed writing the zoning chapter a lot.  It’s a bit unusual–it focuses on the history of St. Louis and its suburbs as a way of telling the story of zoning; it includes several actual zoning codes and plans of various types, to give students a sense of what they’re like; and it is deeply concerned with explaining how, in America, property law is racially inflected.  Feedback is welcome, on this or any other part of the casebook.

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