AuthorJames Muir
Y   a piece of property. If you bought this book,
you can do what you want to with it: write notes in the margins, tear out
pages, lend it to someone, gift it to someone else, or sell it online or to a used
bookstore. But there are limits: Even though you may have bought the book,
you do not own the content. At least as it is expressed in the work, that re
mains the propert y of the authors (and their heirs) or the publishers for some
time. You cannot reprint the material and sell it to others wit hout receiving
permission to do so. You probably know all of this already. That you know
these things i ntuitively is a sign of the ubiquity of property and property
law principles in modern life.
Theprinciplesand rulesofproperty lawinCanadandt heiroriginsi n
the common law, statutes, and legal codes. In each case, the principles and
rules are often drawn from cour t cases or are given full meaning only when
interpreted by judges. This is a book of stories about historic property law
casesa ndaboutdisputes thatultimately ledtoor reectupon someoft he
basic principles and rules of property law in Canada today. The authors of
the chapters that follow each trace one or more cases, explaini ng the back
ground incidentsand personalities that led itto becoming alegal conict
inthe rstplace describingthe eventsat courtsorhearingsandreect
ingon the longtermeects ofthe casesMa nyof thechapters that follow
deal with “leading cases”: cases already taught in Canadian law schools and
regularly referred to by lawyers and judges in making legal arg uments and

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