The Copyright Act requires that a transfer of copyright interests be in writing and signed. In Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, Inc. v. American Home Realty Network, Inc., Nos. 12-2102, 12-2432 (4th Cir. July 17, 2013), the Fourth Circuit held, as a matter of first impression, that this signed-writing requirement is satisfied when a user clicks “yes” in response to an company’s electronic terms of use (TOU) agreement that grants exclusive rights of copyright ownership in uploaded materials. At issue in that case was plaintiff’s online database of real estate listings. In order for users to upload photographs to the database, they first must click a button to assent to plaintiff’s TOU agreement, which states that all submitted images become the exclusive property of plaintiff. Defendant, a competing real estate listing business, obtained photos from plaintiff’s database and posted them on defendant’s website. Plaintiff sued defendant, alleging copyright infringement and violation of the Lanham Act; defendant responded that plaintiff had no copyright interests in the photos because plaintiff’s electronic TOU did not constitute a signed, written transfer agreement for purposes of the Copyright Act. The court disagreed, and held that by clicking “yes” to the TOU, users had signed a written transfer of exclusive rights in the photos to plaintiff. In so holding, the court applied the E-Sign Act of 2000, 15 U.S.C. § 7001 et seq., which mandates that no signature – defined to include electronic symbols executed by persons with the intent to sign a record – shall be denied legal effect simply because it is in electronic form. The court noted that the E-Sign Act expressly exempts certain types of documents, but agreements to transfer copyright ownership are not among them.