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End users’ failure to understand the T&Cs of cloud provision damages their copyright protection

The increasing simplicity and convenience with which end-users can procure cloud services on a pay-per-use basis mean many are not reading the small print; leaving them wide open to a loss of control over how their data is used, according to António Miguel Ferreira, CEO of Lunacloud.

Many cloud providers – including Amazon AWS and Google Drive – contain clauses in their terms and conditions (T&Cs) giving them the right to use data stored with them.

António Miguel Ferreira, Co-Founder and CEO of Lunacloud states:

“Almost everyone who has made an online purchase can probably admit that they have checked a ‘I have read the T&Cs’ box without actually doing so. However, in business this is a critical error, unless you genuinely trust your provider.

Data stored within the cloud is extremely valuable, with much of our modern economy relying on copyright and intellectual property protections. It is wholly inappropriate and unreasonable for cloud providers to claim any rights over data stored on their servers. We see data as belonging to the customer, and our responsibility is to run the platforms on which the data and applications reside – the two areas are clearly distinct.”

The lack of contractual commitment inferred in the pay-per-use model, combined with the speed that many can access cloud services online, leads many end-users to not consider the T&Cs as particularly important. While it is true that pay-per-use makes it easier to dump a cloud provider, what many do not realise is that they may have given the provider the right to use the data stored.

The T&Cs for Google Drive state that ‘When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes that we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.’

Amazon AWS presents similar terms, stating: ‘You consent to our use of Your Content to provide the Service Offerings to you and any End Users. We may disclose Your Content to provide the Service Offerings to you or any End Users or to comply with any request of a governmental or regulatory body (including subpoenas or court orders).’

At the very least there is significant ambiguity over copyright issues and data storage with many cloud service providers. Copyright is too precious for there to be non-specific clauses that open the door to cloud suppliers being able to use the data stored by their customers.”Antonio Ferreira
CEO and Co-Founder of Lunacloud

In comparison, Lunacloud’s T&Cs clearly state that ‘Each party acknowledges that it will have access to certain confidential information of the other party. Each party agrees that it will not use in any way, for its own account or the account of any third party, except as expressly permitted by this Agreement, nor disclose to any third party (except as required by law or to that party’s attorneys, accountants and other advisors as reasonably necessary to carry out the purposes of this Agreement), any of the other party’s Confidential Information and will take reasonable precautions to protect the confidentiality of such information.’

“We believe that simplicity, flexibility and speed are the cornerstones of a cloud service and that there is absolute transparency for the end-user as to what they are signing up for. I urge organisations who value the data they store in the cloud to check the T&Cs thoroughly before making any decision to go with a certain provider.”

About Lunacloud

Founded in 2011 by industry experts Antonio Miguel Ferreira and Charles Nasser, Lunacloud is the latest pay-as-you-go Cloud infrastructure services provider available to tech-savvy SMEs and start-ups as well as individual developers in the Europe. The cloud has fundamentally changed the way we consume compute, store and network resources, and Lunacloud has evolved to meet these demands.

Lunacloud provides Cloud Servers with any choice of RAM from 512 MB to 96 GB, 1 to 8 CPU cores and 10 GB to 2 TB Disk, running Linux or Windows and controlled via the web control panel or the compute API, from 1.5 cents per hour. This level of flexibility allows for 307,200 different server configurations. It also provides Cloud Storage, a virtual unlimited disk for object storage, accessible via a web browser or the S3-compatible API, from 7 cents per month per used GB.

Lunacloud hosts its physical infrastructure in Tier-3 + datacentres, redundantly connected to the Internet, providing a secure and strong footing for customers at all times and is in partnership with Dell who provides the underlying physical servers and storage infrastructure.

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