Representatives from the areas of science, economics and politics discussed at a congress held at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology [Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Technol-ogie, BMWi] the “success factor legal security for cloud computing". The working group “legal frameworks for the use of cloud computing” set up within the scope of the BMWi Technology Pro-gramme Trusted Cloud presented possible solutions for tackling the data-protection and copyright challenges of cloud computing. Under the direction of Prof. Dr. Georg Borges of the Ruhr-University Bochum, legal academics, data-protectors, lawyers and company representatives jointly developed a thesis paper on data-protection solutions as well as a working paper on the licence requirements of cloud computing. Prof. Dr. Georg Borges and Ulrich Lepper, Regional Representative for Data Protection and Freedom of Information in North-Rhine Westphalia, led the task force on data-protection law. Dr. Marc Hilber, IT partner at Oppenhoff & Partner, led the task force on contract and copyright law.

More legal security for the cloud

Hans-Joachim Otto, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Tech-nology said at the congress: "Legal security is a key factor for the success of cloud computing in Germany and Europe. The partially unclear legal situation to date and the legal requirements which are incompatible with the fundamental mode of operation of cloud computing have caused a high degree of legal uncertainty in Germany. A clarification of the legal situation and, where necessary, its adjustment, are therefore urgently required."

The thesis and working papers jointly developed by the experts represent an important step on the path to obtaining greater legal security. Dr Marc Hilber: “Here, a combination of scientific expertise and practical experience has been incorporated. As regards the data-protection aspect, action is required on the part of the legislator if cloud computer is to be made more legally secure. The working group’s thesis paper identifies a pragmatic approach for this. In contract and copyright law, in contrast, groundwork is required.”

Use of open source

Marc Hilber: “Cloud computing poses specific questions with respect to copyright law. The working paper identifies which rights cloud providers and customers need in order to offer or obtain software from the cloud. With this basis, answers can now be provided to further interesting questions, e.g. on the use of open source software by cloud providers or on the international copyright aspect, which obviously plays a major role in view of the round-the-clock global availability of cloud services. However, these topics are manageable.”

The thesis paper on data-protection solutions as well as the working paper on the licensing re-quirements of cloud computing are available under: Thesis paper Licensing Working paper data protection