Sony and the phantom 29th of February 2010 – why date compliance clauses are still relevant

It appears that Sony has been hit by a Y2K bug style programming error, which brought down its PlayStation Network online gaming platform. According to reports, the PSN thought that 2010 was a leap year, causing millions of PS3 consoles to crash and reset their internal clocks to 1 January 2000, and no doubt some red faces at Sony HQ. Oops!

As Douglas has previously mentioned, it’s still worth including a date compliance clause in your contract.

When suppliers see a Y2K style date compliance clause, they tend to act surprised, make a joke about 1999, and then tell you that it is unnnecessary and over the top. But, as this story goes to show, new software date processing errors do continue to happen from time to time, and when they do they can cause havoc.

Amusingly, there was no excuse for this error, as the PSN didn’t even come into being until 2006. Have we now reached a point where the programmers working on cutting edge projects are too young to remember Y2K?

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