I WAS DOING SOME research about MYOB’s large and confusing product suite recently, when I came across the word “unlimited”, followed by an asterisk.
I thought this was odd, since I didn’t think the word “unlimited” required much more explanation — doesn’t it, after all, mean inexhaustible, limitless, boundless, and so on?
It turns out there ARE limitations around MYOB’s products — and it relates to bank feeds. They are subject to a fair use policy, but the downloaded document doesn’t actually quantify what constitutes “fair use”, so our team had to go and do a little digging.
What is “fair use”?
The term “fair use” has been unusually co-opted by companies and businesses, usually telcos and ISPs, to put some limitations around their “unlimited” product plans. Traditionally, “fair use” referred to copyright, and the use of texts — be they music, films, books, etc — in a manner that is considered fair. I was involved in a VoIP telephone business when a company from the US called Fonality made a HUGE running dive into the Australian telecom market with fixed cost plans when it was still new to Aussies.
They offered an “Everything’s Included” package based on a fixed cost per line and it too was based around a “Fair Use Policy” which you had to dig really deep to find and understand. The most common example I’m aware of is for Internet access by gamers who use an incredible amount of download data compared to most people and I understand that their usage may be unfair but I also think this type of clause in a product offering is very UNFAIR — particularly on your competitors (who would probably happily match it!).
In copyright law, brief excerpts of copyrighted material may be used verbatim for the purposes of criticism, news reporting, teaching, and research without requiring the permission (or payment to) the copyright holder.
How does “fair use” apply to MYOB?
In the case of MYOB’s not-unlimited bank feeds, there’s a monthly threshold, depending on the type of MYOB product or plan you’re on, and once you exceed that threshold, you’ll be charged a fee for each bank feed transaction you carry out that month.
It’s basically a reinterpretation of the “fair use” policy as it relates to copyright law, to suit MYOB’s purposes.
Although the document I was encouraged to download didn’t outline MYOB’s Bank Feeds Fair Use Policy, I managed to find it elsewhere on the MYOB site, which has been republished below (under the fair use policy for copyrighted material!).
So long as you don’t exceed the number of monthly bank feed transactions your plan permits, you should be fine, though the term “unlimited” is fairly misleading in this instance, since they have a clearly defined number of transactions they allow.
No Ambiguity with LIFETIME Access
We have the systems in place to track students enrolments so it’s something we feel very comfortable with and we’ve had many students ask us about it a couple years after doing their course — obviously they were thrilled that we still had their details on file and gave them access to the CURRENT course. Yes, when we offer lifetime course access it means you get to the NEW version of the software course as well as the older one. That’s part of our Update and Addition Policy.