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

See all articles by Johan David Michels

Johan David Michels

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law - Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Christopher Millard

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law - Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Felicity Turton

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law - Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Date Written: June 11, 2020

Abstract

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

Michels, Johan David and Millard, Christopher and Turton, Felicity, Contracts for Clouds, Revisited: An Analysis of the Standard Contracts for 40 Cloud Computing Services (June 11, 2020). Queen Mary School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 334/2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3624712

Johan David Michels (Contact Author)

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law - Centre for Commercial Law Studies ( email )

67-69 Lincoln's Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3JB
United Kingdom

Christopher Millard

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law - Centre for Commercial Law Studies ( email )

67-69 Lincoln's Inn Fields
London, EC2A 3JB
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.qmul.ac.uk/staff/millard.html

Felicity Turton

Queen Mary University of London, School of Law - Centre for Commercial Law Studies ( email )

67-69 Lincoln's Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3JB
United Kingdom

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