“If I buy (”own”) a book, I expect to be able to do things such as re-sell, loan, rent, gift it. If I rent or borrow (”posses”) a book, I don’t, but expect to be able to do things like take it with me on a trip. If I am in your house and flip through (”access”) a book, you being a mensch aside, I probably can’t just walk out the door with it.” (from What does it mean to ‘buy’ an e-book’)
There’s another very practical aspect of physical goods which goes unmentioned, but is implied. The existence of a used-goods aftermarket. I was having a discussion the other day with someone who was bemoaning the fact that video game consoles were going the way of app stores and downloadable games. One effect of this is on the video game (cartridge) aftermarket.
There are loads of people who cannot or will not pay the new price for video games but, participate very actively in the video game world strictly by buying aftermarket games.
Contrasting the new Barnes and Nobel ‘Nook‘ reader with the now famous Kindle: one of the big advantages cited for the Nook is that their model of ‘e-books’ includes a scheme to permit me to lend my e-book (the book not the device) to someone else. This is a start. But the one who takes that the next step and provides the ability to re-sell my ebook will have yet another leg up.