What do you think?

I’m really interested to hear what other artists (and non-artists too) think about this:
The following has happened a couple of times in the last few months. I’ve taken pictures while hanging out with other people. Because I know that I’m really slow about posting pictures (they sometimes sit on my camera for months and months), I’ve just given people the photos directly–transferred them from my camera to their computers.
Then (this is the problem part) they’ve posted the pictures to Flickr, Facebook, etc. They are not jerks deliberately taking credit for my work. These are awesome friends who are excited about showing other people the fun stuff we did together, which is great! And the photos, for the most part, are not artsy, they are vacation-type photos.

But some of the photos were taken with some amount of artistic intent. As an artist, it is important to me that I get credit for my work. My success depends on people recognizing my abilities, so when my work is out in the world and people are appreciating it, I want them to appreciate the fact that I made it.

In my mind, the proper thing for these people to do is ask me if it’s ok to post the photos, then give me credit. When I want to use someone’s photos, I ask permission then add a tag, copyright statement, etc. If I can, I link to their website. I benefit from the images, they benefit from the publicity.
So maybe I just need to be more clear about my expectations when I share photos with friends–ask people to give me credit if they post the photos online. Or maybe I need to be more on-the-ball about posting them myself and not hand over the files at all. By giving people a batch of files, am I implicitly giving them the right to do whatever they want with the images? Is this just an unavoidable part of digital photography and social software?I’d like to know if anyone else has had a similar experience and if you have any thoughts about it.

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