When you own the copyright of a photograph, you have complete and exclusive control of how it is reproduced, displayed and distributed. These rights may be assigned, sold, transferred or given away. But if you give a slide to a publisher, email a digital file to a client, or sell a print at an art show, you have not transferred your copyright unless stated so specifically in a written agreement that you have signed. Instead, you have given the recipient “non-exclusive rights” - you still own the copyright to the image. But when you transfer the copyright in writing to another party, you relinquish all rights to the image. It is as if you never took the photograph.