This story freaked me out.
Reading the article, I had to double check that it wasn't about the project I spent 12 years on.
It too was an OCR project for a government department (but in Australia).
We had an almost identical experience with the license.
Our first task when we took over the maintenance (from one guy working from his shed) was to do the Y2K fix. This was quite surprising as the software had been written in about 1995.
For the entire time we spent maintaining it the department was trying to find a replacement.
During that time we had fixed the many bugs, and the software would run for months, and handle far more work than it was originally designed to do.
Eventually our contract expired and we had to move on.
A few years later I got a call from the department asking if I would mind being contacted if the software needed fixing.
Last I heard it was still doing work that the replacement couldn't handle - still running on '90s vintage HP workstations.