In most European jurisdictions, cloud computing services are generally not specifically regulated under law or directly addressed in case law. We clarify some aspects and provide guidelines.
While case law that expressly mentions cloud computing contracts is still scarce, the courts have issued decisions that may in fact apply to these contracts even though direct reference to cloud computing is not made .
As a result, if no contractual provisions have been agreed by the provider and the adopter, it may not be clear which main rules should govern the contractual relationship.
The purpose of this document is to illustrate how cloud computing agreements can be classified under the legislations of EU Member countries such as Germany, Italy, France, UK and Greece, and whether this type of contract can be likened to standard model contracts ruled by the contract law of each jurisdiction or envisioned under relevant case law.
In civil law countries, legislation provides several standard model contracts concerning transactions typically taking place between parties.
In the history of legislation, this was the approach taken in the area of the Roman-Germanic law tradition. With the codification of the first civil codes, the lawmaker provided, among other things, a set of essential provisions applicable to the main contracts .
In most cases these provisions are not mandatory but apply if the parties have not governed the relevant points in their agreements or have no contract at all in place.
In common law countries, in the absence of a civil code that provides standard model contracts, we find that rules concerning contracts are provided by special laws (i.e.: statutes) and case law.
This document will also provide an overview of the essential provisions deriving from the codes or case law to the extent that they may apply to cloud computing agreements.