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Cloud – New Buzzword, Old Legal Issues

11.11.11

Many readers agreed with my recent blog that the Cloud is a new label for old technology – “think connecting to a mainframe over telephone lines,” and I encourage you to read my November eCommerce Times column about some important Cloud computing legal issues.

More Cloud History

Wikipedia’s historical description of Cloud computing includes:

The term "cloud" is used as a metaphor for the Internet, based on the cloud drawing used in the past to represent the telephone network, and later to depict the Internet in computer network diagrams as an abstraction of the underlying infrastructure it represents.

The underlying concept of cloud computing dates back to the 1960s, when John McCarthy (computer scientist who coined the term artificial intelligence) opined that "computation may someday be organised as a public utility."

So it should come as no surprise that in 1972 before I studied law and was working as mainframe programmer that I took a graduate course – “The Computer as a Public Utility.” The University of Texas at Austin course was cross listed between the Graduate School of Business, Computer Science Department, and School of Law. 

For marketing purposes I’m sure at some point there will be a new buzz word to replace the Cloud, even if there’s nothing new technically!
 

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