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Airbnb drags SF into court

By Richard Chirgwin, 28 Jun 2016

Airbnb is aiming its First Amendment cannon at San Francisco in California: the biz is suing the city over its rental restrictions.

Earlier this month, the city began a crackdown on the mattress-surfing operation. Residents offering their properties for short-term stays have to register with San Francisco officials, and if Airbnb permits posts touting unregistered properties, it would face fines of up to US$1,000 per day per user breaking the rules.

As well as complaining its right to free speech is violated by the regulations, Airbnb also wants a California federal court to find that its listings are protected by the safe harbor provisions of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. In Section 230 of that federal law, the host of a platform is protected against actions arising over comments posted by its users.

It also reckons its users should be protected by the Stored Communications Act. ®

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