Copyright and Licensing in the Cloud Platform has two facet of questions. One is for the users who will deliver the services and other is the original provider. An user who has moved an application in the cloud must be adequately licensed to operate the machines as a provider. The introductory article on Legal issues with Cloud Computing has already been discussed before. This article on Copyright and Licensing in the Cloud Platform is the continuation of the way of thought.
Copyright and Licensing in the Cloud Platform : Understanding Contracts
Due to the existence of divergent court decisions of various countries, one should be cautious and in doubt where there no expressed consent of the manufacturer or service provider. It must be written clearly in the initial licensing agreement in the contract as a precaution. In any case, if there is a need for the disclosure of copies of software, the consent of the software manufacturer is analogous to the situation in traditional hosting.
Next, it must be cleared with the software manufacturer, whether related to the offering of a no from the manufacturer developed application for cloud usage agreement by the provider. For this is according to the majority view of consent for subletting. In most countries, the Court has given this kind of verdict : distribution of software which is non-physical (download copy) for the purpose of re-distribution on disk is not under any contractual ability of the software, unless the vendor prohibit resale as “used software”. With cloud computing , the consent of the owner is still required, unless the provision in the cloud is explicitly acknowledged as usage. In older contracts, this is interpreted in the light of the wording of the contractual rights and were granted. As far as open-source software, it must be clarified in advance, what license can be used.
Copyright and Licensing in the Cloud Platform : Changing License
If any software was initially released under MIT, Apache etc. NON-GNU GPL License but is free, if you wish to change to GNU GPL; public notice as well as notice to the all the involved parties (read developers) must be served in written. If they do not reply, another notice as reminder has to be served as reminder claiming that the parties has accepted it by non reply or is not interested. It fully depends on your Lawyer, your country and your social and professional Oaths.
This is very granular, tricky part of Copyright and Licensing, be it in the Cloud Platform or in other form.
One point is quite important, for any business, moving and working without a Lawyer bench of your own; trying to reply emails asking for legal permission can put you in danger.