Access better than Ownership?

Kevin Kelly is one of the writers I love to read as he has an interesting vision of the dematerializing future. It's already happened where I work - before I started here, our revenue came essentially entirely from libraries subscribing to receive print copies of our journals. Now we sell access to the journals online, and take responsibility for hosting - as does every other scientific publisher still in business. Almost nobody wants the print journals any more. But with that change in material property has come a change in a sense of ownership - libraries no longer own physical copies of what we publish, rather we provide them access. The loss of importance of a sense of ownership for the electronic version is manifest in the miniscule level of demand for CD or DVD versions of the journals, which would provide a local materialized form for that electronic copy. But the online version is so much more useful, nobody wants the CD's.

As Kelly puts it:

Access is so superior to ownership, or possession, that it will drive the emerging intangible economy.

http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2009/01/better_than_own.php