from the not-this-again dept
We've seen it time and time again. The internet enables people to communicate directly with each other and create more efficient solutions than some larger (often regulated) industry, and that industry freaks out. Remember how a bus company freaked out
about an online carpooling service and had it fined
for being an "unregulated transportation company?" It looks like something similar, though in a different field, is happening in New York. With hotels in the Big Apple being ridiculously expensive much of the time, people have taken to Craigslist, as well as some specific services like AirBnB, Crashpadder and Roomorama, to find residents willing to rent out their rooms or apartments on a short-term basis -- for much lower prices.
But, of course, that upsets the hotels, which have their high prices and don't like the competition. So, it seems they've convinced politicians to try to effectively outlaw the practice
This week, New York state senators vote on a bill that would make it illegal for any homeowner or renter to sublet for less than a month. The new law would be a blanket ban on short-term rentals -- no matter how ethical the renter is.
Of course, as we always see with these types of laws, the politicians couch them in terms of the need for regulation for things like "protecting tax revenue" or "safety standards." But, of course, there are plenty of other ways to deal with those issues outside of outlawing the practice entirely. The reality of the situation is that the internet has made it so that people can be more efficient in things like transportation or short-term housing, and the old guard doesn't like it one bit, so they come up with regulations like these to outlaw it, even though it greatly harms the public, who get more out of using such services.