IP, Technology & Data

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 unnecessary and over the top. But, as this story goes to show, new software data 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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Martin Sloan

Partner at Brodies LLP
Martin is a partner in Brodies Technology, Information and Outsourcing group and has wide experience of advising clients on technology procurement and IT and business process outsourcing projects. Martin also advises on data protection (including the GDPR), and general technology and intellectual property law, and has a particular interest in the laws applying to social media and new technology such as mobile apps, contactless/mobile payments, and smart metering.
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