Cloud Disputes: The Legal View

Will cloud computing outages wind up in court? Folks in the legal profession expect they will. Here's a look at some of the legal issues that might arise in downtime or data losses in cloud hosting scenarios.

Rich Miller

January 17, 2012

1 Min Read
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Will cloud computing outages wind up in court? Folks in the legal profession expect they will. "Given the ever-increasing reliance on cloud computing, it is inevitable that disputes and litigation will increase between corporations and cloud service providers," writes Gerry Silver, a partner in the litigation practice at Chadbourne & Parke.

Silver explores the potential legal issues in a column at, 5 Key Considerations When Litigating Cloud Disputes. The most likely scenario for litigation is a service outage that results in downtime or the loss of data. "In such circumstances, the corporation may be facing enormous liability and will seek to hold the cloud provider responsible, while the cloud provider will undoubtedly look to the parties' agreement and the underlying circumstances for defenses," Silver notes.

I'm not a lawyer, and don't play one on TV. Silver's column provides an interesting perspective because it is offering guidance to cloud computing customers on holding providers legally and financially accountable for outages - including issues that might allow damages to exceed liability limits in service level agreements (SLAs). As such, it identifies key decision points for customers comparing cloud providers. It also allows cloud providers a chance to walk in the shoes of their customer's lawyer, and provides food for thought in how providers structure their SLAs


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