Our practice and experts in cloud computing law and in the areas of cloud communications as a service (CaaS) has equipped the firm with the tools and knowledge to empower, educate, and protect cloud communications clients.
With skills and broad experience in privacy, security, intellectual property, tax, and commercial transaction law and contracts, we solve the most complex legal puzzles for cloud providers.
Quality of service, profitability, and the outcome of all legal issues flow from a cloud service provider's commercial arrangements and terms of contract. Service level and performance, best practices, liability, risk management and allocation, vendor lock-in, and the strength of both parties' obligations hinge on the contract.
Given the cloud's adaptability to customers of all shapes and sizes, contract negotiations are especially critical in tailoring services to a customer's needs. Cloud providers and customers need the advice of counsel to develop custom contracts that help manage risk, enable business development, and proactively set your team up for success.
With data transferred and processed across jurisdictional boundaries and services located in one state but accessed in another, determining the governing law and jurisdiction for a hosted service is absolutely necessary.
Compliance with laws governing the privacy of customer data is a serious responsibility for any cloud provider. Data privacy is addressed in multiple federal, state, and international laws including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), the Child Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), the FCC's CPNI rules, HIPAA, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the EU Directive on Data Protection (Directive 95/46/EC) and FTC consumer protection rules.
However, the legal environment for the cloud industry is in a state of flux and often saddled with outdated laws and rules.
Knowing how best to comply with laws imposing data security requirements and standards on cloud service providers and their customers is essential. With the increase of malicious actors attempting to access valuable information, service providers and business customers must provide for the physical, operational, and programmatic security of their data.
The location where data is stored can determine what law will govern and control the maintenance of a particular customer's data. Extraterritorial or dispersed geographical storage can impact the ability of customers to establish an audit trail for purposes of satisfying regulatory compliance and legal obligations, which rely on verifying where data is located, accessed, or altered.
Cloud computing touches on a number of intellectual property issues, and the protection of trade secrets, confidential information, copyright, and trademarks in the cloud has to be maintained. When software is involved in any transaction, the licensing, use, and ownership of both software as a service (SaaS) and data stored on the cloud becomes critical.
For customers who rely on the cloud, warranties and indemnification regarding the infringement of third-party intellectual property rights are important considerations. Some cloud service providers must also arrange for the sub-licensing of software to their customers.
Cloud service providers must comply with a hodgepodge of federal, state, and international laws and regulations, as well as applicable industry standards. However, cloud "compliance" is only half the story.
The laws and rules bearing on the cloud are still in flux as legislators continue to navigate the technology and how to regulate it. In an environment of regulatory uncertainty, the aid of experienced counsel is an absolute necessity in order to stay abreast of changes in the cloud's legal and regulatory environment.
State and local tax authorities are seeking new revenue streams from SaaS providers. This becomes even more critical for businesses offering multiple hosted platform services such as infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and communications as a service (CaaS). These other hosted platform offerings can benefit from the counsel of experts in cloud computing law, potentially establishing a nexus for cloud providers in states with aggressive departments of revenue thereby exposing hosted software to sales and use tax collection obligations.
Award-winning practice with unparalleled experience in the telecommunications sector, our clients include VoIP, wireless and traditional telecom companies, SaaS and cloud technologists, and nearly every imaginable business driving the digital revolution.
1430 Spring Hill Road, Suite 310
Tysons, Virginia 22102
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