"You can check documents out any time you like, but they can never leave."
[With apologies to Don Henley and Glenn Frey]
OK, it's technically a bit imprecise, but it was the metaphor that popped into my head when I learned a third new term/concept in January at my colleague Chris McNulty's SharePoint Saturday Hartford presentation about Enterprise Content Management: "Content is King."
Chris used the term "Asymmetrical Records Declaration" to refer to the fact that, with records management capabilities in SharePoint 2010, many users may have the capability to declare a file a record (and thereby impose strict rules about how it is managed), but only a select, highly trusted few can *undeclare* records.
OK, so I guess perhaps the better metaphor is a ratchet, but if I were a corporate records manager, librarian, counsel, or compliance specialist, this concept (and the key takeaway from Chris's presentation) is clear: we can exercise a great deal of control over who can manage content using native capabilities of SharePoint Server 2010.
See also: Technet overview of SharePoint 2010 records management.