Contracts for Clouds, Revisited: An Analysis of the Standard Contracts for 40 Cloud Computing Services
80 Pages Posted: 15 Jun 2020 Last revised: 7 May 2021
Date Written: June 11, 2020
In this paper, we report the results of a detailed survey of the standard contracts for 40 major cloud computing services, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. We cover a broad range of contractual issues, including clauses dealing with choice of law, termination, data retention, liability, and intellectual property. We compare the results to those of previous surveys conducted in 2010, 2013, and 2015 to show how cloud contracts have developed over time. In particular, we identify changes with regard to choice of law and of forum, and warranty and liability provisions. We conclude that over the past ten years, standard cloud contracts have become more tailored to customer location, for instance by having distinct terms for US and European customers, and more in line with European consumer protection law, including by having distinct terms for businesses and consumers.
For a related survey of the privacy policies of 40 cloud services, see “Privacy in the Clouds, Revisited: An Analysis of the Privacy Policies of 40 Cloud Computing Services” on SSRN: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3823424
Keywords: Cloud Computing, Information Technology, Contracts, Service Level Agreements, Terms of Service, Terms and Conditions
JEL Classification: K1, K2, K12, K13, K20, M1, M15, M16, L81, L84, L86
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation