At the Goodwill Outlet, everything is sold by the pound. Lots of people try to minimize the weight of their order by removing CDs and DVDs from the cases and leaving behind the cases and manuals. It sucks when you see something you want to buy but there isn’t a disc.
But what about software? The same people will buy just the discs and leave everything else behind, including the lightweight piece of paper that includes the serial number. In that case, if one person buys just the serial number and someone else just buys the disc, who is the legal owner? With games these days it’s quite easy just to enter the serial on Steam or Origin and then download the latest version from their website rather than having to install from the disc and then find the patches, etc.
So, if I have legally purchased the serial number to a program, do I own it even though I don’t have the physical media?