Can an idea be owned? I'd say it can certainly be rented for a while. The question then becomes how does a renter make the most of their property? In Linchpin, Seth Godin tells us how important it is to ship something. I'd add that the packaging is equally important. The value chain today looks something like this. Text has value but it's like the wind—e-mail, tweets, and comments allow for widespread communication with low effort. Blogs take it up a notch. Decks put even more form to it (if you know how to build decks) Apps and books package thoughts even further.
The reality is that all of these things together can bring an idea to life and really keep the idea alive. The act of creating a book is likely different from the act of promoting it. The tweets, e-mails and posts that were less important in the act of creation may become more important in the act of distribution.
But as it's been said in Linchpin and likely in lots of other places in other times, the question in need of an answer is "did something ship"? In other words, owning or renting an idea is likely impossible if you haven't shipped out something tangible that's worth sharing.