9th Circuit's Bad AirBnB Decision Threatens Basic Internet Business Models

from the "but-wait,-there's-more!" dept

I'm not done excoriating the Ninth Circuit's recent decision dismissing Homeaway and Airbnb's challenge of the Santa Monica ordinance that holds them liable if their users illegally list their properties for rent. As I wrote before, that's what the ordinance in fact does, even though Section 230 is supposed to prevent local jurisdictions from enforcing laws on platforms that have this effect. Perhaps this decision may not be as obviously lethal to the Internet as the EU's passage of the Copyright Directive with Articles 11 and 13, but only because its consequences may, at the moment, be less obvious – not because they stand to be any less harmful.

Which is not to say that the court intended to herald the end of the Internet. Indeed there is a somewhat apologetic tone throughout the decision, as if the court felt it had no choice but to reach the conclusion that it did. But there is also a tone of dismissiveness that runs throughout the decision as well. The court largely minimized the platforms' arguments about how the ordinance will affect them, and by ignoring the inevitable consequences thus opened the door to them, now and in the future, far beyond the facts of this particular case.

Ultimately there are (at least) two big problems with the decision. The earlier post highlighted one of them, noting how chilling it is to speech if a law effectively forces platforms to police their users' expression in order to have any hope of avoiding being held liable for it. The problem with the court's decision in this regard is that it kept [see pages 13-14, 17, 20...] incorrectly insisting, over the platforms' protest, that the Santa Monica ordinance does not force them to monitor their users' expression when, in actuality, it most certainly does.

The second major problem with the decision is that the court kept trying to create an artificial distinction between imposing liability on platforms for facilitating user expression, which the court acknowledged would be prohibited by Section 230, and imposing liability on platforms for facilitating online transactions — which, per the court, Section 230 would apparently not prevent.

As the Platforms point out, websites like Craigslist "advertise the very same properties," but do not process transactions. Unlike the Platforms, those websites would not be subject to the Ordinance, underscoring that the Ordinance does not target websites that post listings, but rather companies that engage in unlawful booking transactions. [p. 20]

Unfortunately it's a nonsensical distinction, and one that leads to an entirely unprecedented curtailing of Section 230's critical statutory protection.

If the court's reasoning were correct, then no platform that profits from transactions between users could ever have been shielded from liability. It always would have been possible to predicate their liability on the brokering of the transaction, rather than on their intermediation of the user expression behind the transaction. In reality, though, over the past two decades plenty of transactional platforms have been able to avail themselves of Section 230's protection. For instance, EBay and Amazon, like Airbnb and Homeaway, make money from the transactions that result when user expression offering something for sale is answered by users who want to buy. Yet courts – including the Ninth Circuit – have found them just as protected by Section 230 as their non-transactional platform peers. Unlike this particular Ninth Circuit panel, these other courts recognized that the liability these platforms were having to face was inherently rooted in the user's expression, and thus something that Section 230 protected them from. For the Ninth Circuit to now decide that liability for facilitating a transaction is somehow something separate from facilitating the user expression behind it strikes at the heart of what Section 230 is supposed to do – protect platforms from liability in their users' activity – and puts all these transactional platforms' continued Section 230 protection in doubt.

It also puts in jeopardy the entire Internet economy by so severely limiting the ability of platforms to monetize their services. At minimum it calls into question any monetization model that derives revenue from any transactional user expression that successfully results in a consummated deal, since platforms can now be held to account for any alleged illegality in that user expression. (Oddly, though, a platform would seem to be just fine if its users only posted poorly-crafted listings for terrible properties at unmarketable rents, even if those listings were illegal under the ordinance, because there would be no danger of a rental transaction actually resulting. But as soon as users manage to successfully articulate their offerings such that they could result in real rentals the platform would suddenly find itself on the hook.)

Instead platforms will have to support themselves in other ways, such as by being ad-supported or charging for listings. But not only do these other revenue models raise their own concerns and considerations, but given the logic of this decision it's not a certainty that they, too, won't someday be found to put the platform beyond the reach of Section 230 as well. For as long as facilitating the exchange of money is treated as something separate from the facilitation of user expression the exchange is connected to, any method of monetary exchange connected to user content that's illegal in some way could still put the platform facilitating it beyond the reach of the statutory protection. The court cited Craigslist as an example of a platform that can retain its Section 230 immunity even when its users post illegal listings. But, notably, Craigslist does not charge users to post their listings. Which leaves us with a decision where the only platforms that can be sure to benefit from Section 230 are the ones that provide their services for free, which isn't consistent with what Congress intended or the commercial potential upon which, until now, the Internet economy has depended.

Furthermore, it stands to put any platform exclusively devoted to facilitating aspects of these transactions completely beyond the protective reach of Section 230, even though any liability connected to that transaction would still be due to others' expression. In this case the court was fairly indifferent as to what a platform like Homeaway or Airbnb would need to do to cope with liability under the ordinance.

[T]he Platforms argue that the Ordinance "in operation and effect . . . forces [them] to remove third-party content." Although it is clear that the Ordinance does not expressly mandate that they do so, the Platforms claim that "common sense explains" that they cannot "leave in place a website chock-full of un-bookable listings." For purposes of our review, we accept at face value the Platforms’ assertion that they will choose to remove noncompliant third-party listings on their website as a consequence of the Ordinance. Nonetheless, their choice to remove listings is insufficient to implicate the CDA. [p. 14-15]

Or that the platforms' attempt to avoid liability might result in undue censorship.

Moreover, the incidental impacts on speech cited by the Platforms raise minimal concerns. The Platforms argue that the Ordinance chills commercial speech, namely, advertisements for third-party rentals. But even accepting that the Platforms will need to engage in efforts to validate transactions before completing them, incidental burdens like these are not always sufficient to trigger First Amendment scrutiny. [p. 20-21]

These are significant concerns, however. It is a functionally impossible task the court sets for them, to put platforms in the position of needing to review and remove just the right amount user expression in order to protect themselves. But this sort of case-by-case, listing-by-listing censorship is at least theoretically within the power of a platform facilitating the expression itself. Whereas it's not at all within the power of platforms like payment providers that never touch the original user speech. Instead they will be left with a stark choice: leave open the firehose to process all transactions, and thus risk being liable for any transaction related to any illegal listing that comes through, or turn off their service entirely to any service that cannot guarantee to them that every transaction arising from every user listing will be legally compliant with every possible law. No platform can make that promise, of course, and it will inevitably result in the removal of substantial lawful content to even try.

True, the Santa Monica ordinance itself does not invite this full parade of horrors. It is but one ordinance, for one city, with a regulatory ask of the platform that the court somehow seems to think is easy to meet. But this decision and its contorted rationale opens the door to plenty more ordinances, from plenty more jurisdictions, with plenty more regulatory demands. In and of itself it is plenty onerous, and it invites even worse.

Filed Under: 9th circuit, business models, cda 230, santa monica, section 230, transactions
Companies: airbnb, homeaway


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Buddy S. Paradigm, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:20pm

    "do not process transactions" -- is clearly beyond Section 230!

    THAT IS DOING BUSINESS WITH/FOR CUSTOMERS, not merely hosting speech.

    Section 230 is NOT the whole of The Law.

    Takes a very ardent corporatist to keep excavating after a Circuit decision. I'm sure you are saluted by the fanboys here. Not me, though. To me looks like you imagine Section 230 to be the last law ever applicable to corporations and to believe that it says "absolute and total immunity".

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:40pm

      Re: "do not process transactions" -- is clearly beyond Section 2

      Question for you, are banks held liable for crimes committed by the criminals who use them to process criminal transactions? Why should banks not be held liable just as internet companies facilitating similar transactions?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:51pm

        Re: Re: "do not process transactions" -- is clearly beyond Secti

        Maybe this is why the large banks wont deal with marijuana businesses.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:53pm

          No, they don’t deal with legalized marijuana businesses because the federal government says they can’t.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: "do not process transactions" -- is clearl

          Funny that, and yet they can launder money from terrorists without any problemo.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:33pm

          Re: Re: Re: "do not process transactions" -- is clearly beyond S

          And yet they do deal with marijuana business, as well as other criminal organizations that launder money through them and some who don't even bother to hide their criminal nature.

          It's almost like you don't live in reality.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2019 @ 7:30am

        Re: Re: "do not process transactions" -- is clearly beyond Secti

        The banks can be held liable for crimes committed by criminals that use the banks to commit those crimes. There is an entire set of laws that make banks responsible for letting criminals launder money, for example.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2019 @ 8:11am

          Re: Re: Re: "do not process transactions" -- is clearl

          "The banks can be held liable for crimes committed by criminals that use the banks"

          Although this may be true, it still requires that the AG/DA press charges. When the perp is one of their wise guys .....

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2019 @ 8:39am

          Re: Re: Re: "do not process transactions" -- is clearly beyond S

          True. But only IF the banks are actually aware of it and allow it anyway.

          See how that works?

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:51pm

      Re: "do not process transactions" -- is clearly beyond Section 2

      230 should never be allowed to be used as a sword, only a shield, and only in cases involving "dumb pipes."

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    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:25pm

    230 maximalists will be the death of 230

    Section 230 was not intended to shield platforms from liability for providing tools that allow users to break the law, or that break the law themselves. And it doesn't, by its own plain terms. Nothing about this case treats AirBnB as a speaker or publisher of any specific listing. Today's HUD case against Facebook is another positive development in terms of holding platforms accountable for providing tools designed to allow users to break the law.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:39pm

      Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

      Section 230 was not intended to shield platforms from liability for providing tools that allow users to break the law ... blah blah bah ...

      Kinda like how auto makers should be held liable for providing products that allow people to break traffic laws, huh? Yeah, I see how that works, asshole.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:45pm

        Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

        Auto makers are highly regulated and frequently are held liable for selling defective or dangerous products. But by the reasoning you frequently hear on this site, platforms can't be held to similar standards of liability because, at some point, user postings are involved. Not what the law says.

        As offered in Santa Monica, AirBnB is a tool whose primary purpose is to let people break the law. (Unlike a car, AirBnB is not a general purpose tool). So now Santa Monica can either re-design its offering to prevent law-breaking, or it can shut down in Santa Monica. Either would be a fine outcome. If the voters don't like it, they can change the law.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:51pm

          platforms can't be held to similar standards of liability because, at some point, user postings are involved

          A platform cannot be held liable for the speech of a third party if anyone who owns/operates the platform lacks the foreknowledge of such speech or does not facilitate the creation/publication of said speech. Think of it this way: If you put a soapbox out on your front lawn and invited anyone to stand on it and speak, and a bigoted asshole comes along shouting death threats aimed at Muslims or LGBT people, you would not be held liable for that asshole’s threats because you had no idea the asshole was going to do that with your platform.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:55pm

            Re:

            AirBnB is not a soapbox, though. It's not a general-purpose social network. It is a product designed to allow people to rent out property, in ways which it fully knows are illegal in many jurisdictions. As long as regulations such as the Santa Monica one don't hold AirBnB liable for any specific listing per se, but instead focus on how the system is designed, or on its financial relationship with posters, then the law doesn't run afoul of 230, as the court correctly found here.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:04pm

              Like the article says:

              For as long as facilitating the exchange of money is treated as something separate from the facilitation of user expression the exchange is connected to, any method of monetary exchange connected to user content that's illegal in some way could still put the platform facilitating it beyond the reach of the statutory protection.

              Now, try to guess how many self-published authors would be drummed out of the ebook market on Amazon near-instantly if this ruling were to become binding precedent, simply because Amazon higher-ups decided that allowing those authors to continue directly selling their books through Amazon was more of a liability than the higher-ups wanted the company to bear.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:29pm

                Re:

                Well, this ruling is binding precedent. That aside, an analogy between AirBnB and Amazon self-publishing doesn't really work, because self-publishing is a lawful activity, renting our your property in contravention of local laws isn't. By far the common use case for AirBnB, in Santa Monica, is unlawful.

                Let's say, though, that some percentage of self-published ebooks were unlawful. To the extent that Amazon provides those authors with financial support, I don't see a problem with holding it liable for that activity--not as the publisher or speaker, but under some other theory. The hard question would be whether to apply a strict liability rule or some sort of knowledge standard. Just as a policy matter, as soon as a platform pays a poster, I think holding it to a heightened standard of liability makes sense.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:39pm

                  as soon as a platform pays a poster, I think holding it to a heightened standard of liability makes sense

                  Therein lies the issue: If a platform were to face liability for paying a user of that platform — even just for wholly legal activity — that platform would cease to pay users. No company worth a damn is going to want that kind of liability on its hands. That would turn many such platforms into mere broadcast mediums, limited to a small amount of pre-approved content from companies that are willing to license their content out to that platform…not to mention the companies the platform can afford to pay.

                  Imagine YouTube, but limited to a handful of movies and TV shows from major Hollywood studios instead of the multitude of (legal!) content available on the service. That is the future if this ruling becomes a binding precedent that applies to all websites. That is a future few people want, and those few people are either “fuck you” wealthy, woefully ignorant, or both.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:43pm

                    Re:

                    It would mean that Youtube can't provide monetization tools to people, sight unseen, as it does now. Which sounds great to me. Youtube is a cesspool. It should vet its business partners, or just let them figure out monetization by themselves.

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                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:46pm

                      It would mean that Youtube can't provide monetization tools to people, sight unseen, as it does now.

                      No, it would mean that YouTube could not provide monetization tools to people at all if the company’s higher-ups wanted to keep the company off the hook for legal liability.

                      Which sounds great to me.

                      We get it, you prefer to kiss the ring of The Mouse rather than support independent artists.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:53pm

                        Re:

                        Lol. I think copyright as we know it should be abolished. Doesn't mean I support the white supremacist trash and the exploitation videos that Youtube is known for. I like the idea of an open UGC video site--I just don't want that site to financially reward bad actors, as Youtube does today.

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                        • icon
                          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:59pm

                          I like the idea of an open UGC video site--I just don't want that site to financially reward bad actors

                          Again: If this ruling were to become binding precedent that affects such sites, those sites would likely choose to stop financially rewarding anyone to stay out of legal liability. Without a financial motive to stay on those sites, those who monetize their work primarily through those sites — mostly independent artists and creators — would likely leave…and possibly take their content with them.

                          Needless to say, that would not be a win for independent artists or their existing audiences.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 4:33pm

                          Re: Re:

                          I just don't want that site to financially reward bad actors,

                          And that idea lead to government enforced censorship, where the government can define bad actors to suite their objectives.

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                        • icon
                          Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 4:40pm

                          Re: Re:

                          Does "white supremacist trash and the exploitation videos" actually monetize their IP on YouTube? Or are they just there?

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 3:38pm

                Re:

                Few or none, since they'd just sell through their own websites, as they did before Amazon came around.

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                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 3:50pm

                  This assumes every independent artist will go through the trouble of setting up a storefront on their website — and all the work that entails beyond the coding. Your assumption is…poor, to say the least.

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            • icon
              nasch (profile), 29 Mar 2019 @ 9:48am

              Re: Re:

              It's not a general-purpose social network.

              Can you point out the part of section 230 that says only general purpose social networks are given immunity from user speech, and not more targeted platforms?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:58pm

          Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

          As offered in Santa Monica, AirBnB is a tool whose primary purpose is to let people break the law.

          How do you make that out, it is a tool to allow people to rent out their property assuming that they comply with any local laws. Expecting a company in a different state to check the laws of the renters state, and find a and check any register is excessively burdensome, especially if generalised to all local regulations covering a;ll interactions between people.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:28pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

            Apparently one is breaking the law if that poster says so, no additional info required.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:25pm

          Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

          Auto makers are highly regulated and frequently are held liable for selling defective or dangerous products

          Because they aren't advertising selling you a defective or dangerous product. They are advertising selling you a working and safe (relatively) product. If they don't provide what they advertise, they are liable.

          AirBnB provided exactly the service they advertise and said service is legal. The users' use of it in this one specific locale, was not.

          platforms can't be held to similar standards of liability because, at some point, user postings are involved.

          Yes, because the offending content was produced by a user, not the platform. Therefore, why should the platform be held responsible for actions of someone else, actions they did not commit?

          Not what the law says.

          Actually, that's exactly what the law says. You should try reading it.

          As offered in Santa Monica

          The service offered in Santa Monica is no different than the service offered anywhere else in the country. Are you stating it's illegal to use AirBnB in the entire rest of the country?

          AirBnB is a tool whose primary purpose is to let people break the law

          What? I thought it's primary purpose was to provide an easy way for people to advertise their unused living space for rent, and provide an easy way for people to search for said spaces. I have several family members who have used it to plan trips across the country. It works quite well and they haven't been arrested for any illegal activity because, you know, it's legal.

          So now Santa Monica can either re-design its offering to prevent law-breaking

          I wasn't aware the locality of Santa Monica designed AirBnB. Kudos to them for making something that breaks their own laws.

          If the voters don't like it, they can change the law.

          Well actually, legislators have to change the law. But I digress....

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:36pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

            I obviously mistyped above. AirBnB can re-design its product or shut it down in Santa Monica.

            I am baffled by the comments here saying that AirBnB is "lawful." The point is, it was in Santa Monica, until Santa Monica changed the law. Now it's not, unless it complies with the new standards. No business has an inherent right to operate in every given jurisdiction.

            AirBnB is a product that makes it easy for people to rent their property. Most users of the product are not registered in any formal way with their local governments. Thus, most users in Santa Monica were breaking the law, making AirBnB a tool tailor-made for law-breaking. This doesn't seem like a complicated proposition. It's besides the point to argue that the city government should focus on policing users. Maybe it can. But it doesn't have to, since it found an easier and cheaper way to ensure compliance.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:42pm

              making AirBnB a tool tailor-made for law-breaking

              A tool does not become a tool “tailor-made for law-breaking” just because one jurisdiction rules it illegal. If Santa Monica were to decide that hammers should be made illegal because of the probability of people using them for violence, hammers would still be a tool tailor-made for getting nails into wood.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:45pm

                Re:

                Ok, not "tailor-made," but a tool which now has primarily unlawful applications within a certain jurisdiction.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 2:18pm

                  Re: Re:

                  Which still doesn't make the tool itself illegal or liable if a third party uses it for said actions within said jurisdiction.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 2:19pm

                    Re: Re: Re:

                    The 9th Circuit and the city of Santa Monica disagree.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 2:51pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Actually they don't disagree. They agree that the use of AirBnB was illegal in this particular case, but not that the service itself is illegal. Even in Santa Monica.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 3:04pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Which, since the use of AirBnB was not done by AirBnB but by a local resident of Santa Monica, LOGICALLY, the resident should be held liable, not AirBnB, since no action on the part of AirBnB was illegal.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 2:17pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

              AirBnB can re-design its product or shut it down in Santa Monica.

              Why? There are several physical products which are nationally legal but some smaller jurisdictions have deemed them illegal. None of those companies do anything to redesign their products so they can't be used in said jurisdictions. At best they say they won't ship to those locations but nothing prevents a user in those jurisdictions from continuing to buy and use those physical products in the jurisdiction they live in. When users are caught with those products, no one loses their mind and says the manufacturer should have done something to prevent it. They, rightly, charge the user. There is exactly zero difference here.

              I am baffled by the comments here saying that AirBnB is "lawful."

              I'm sorry basic law confuses you. It is a lawful tool/platform/business. What no one else here understands is how you reached the conclusion that it isn't. Even the courts recognize it as a legal business. Even in this case ruling. Note the ruling doesn't say "your business is illegal and you must cease and desist immediately or go to jail".

              The point is, it was in Santa Monica, until Santa Monica changed the law.

              Well that's not really AirBnB's fault now is it? And do pray tell, how do you prevent an ephemeral online site from operating within a specific city?

              Now it's not, unless it complies with the new standards.

              It still is lawful. It's not lawful for residents of Santa Monica to use it to advertise living space for rent.

              No business has an inherent right to operate in every given jurisdiction.

              Please define "jurisdiction" for a website.

              AirBnB is a product that makes it easy for people to rent their property.

              Well finally I've gotten that through to you.

              Most users of the product are not registered in any formal way with their local governments. Thus, most users in Santa Monica were breaking the law

              Exactly! Users in Santa Monica broke the law. Not AirBnB.

              making AirBnB a tool tailor-made for law-breaking

              No. That does not logically follow or make any sense whatsoever.

              This doesn't seem like a complicated proposition

              It isn't. You are making it FAR more complicated than it is by rejecting facts and reality.

              It's besides the point to argue that the city government should focus on policing users.

              No, that's exactly the point. AirBnB didn't commit a crime, it's users did.

              Maybe it can.

              Have you ever heard of a thing called local law enforcement?

              But it doesn't have to, since it found an easier and cheaper way to ensure compliance.

              Which actually won't ensure compliance because there's no feasible way to do it. Also, easier and cheaper does not mean correct or legal. It's easier and cheaper to just nuke a few cities to ensure those citizens never break the law. That doesn't make it a good idea.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 2:26pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

                AirBnB doesn't have to block itself in Santa Monica, but it is subject to Santa Monica's laws if it does business with someone in Santa Monica, or someone who rents out property there. The only "blocking" it needs to do is to...stop allowing Santa Monica property rentals until it complies with the law. Which it is subject to. Which the 9th Circuit just affirmed.

                A company selling a product into the stream of commerce isn't subject to every last jurisdiction...unless it actually avails itself of that jurisdiction, e.g. by doing business with a retailer there.

                It is quite strange that you are claiming that AirBnB (pre-compliance) is lawful in Santa Monica when the 9th Circuit disagrees. The 9th Circuit and the city of Santa Monica get to say what the law is, not you.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 3:02pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of

                  it is subject to Santa Monica's laws if it does business with someone in Santa Monica

                  No, that's literally not how it works. You typically have to have a physical presence in said jurisdiction to be subject to its laws. Kind of like how me calling the president of Turkey a moron online is illegal in Turkey but I'm not going to get thrown in a Turkish jail for it.

                  It's up to the user's in said jurisdiction to be aware of the laws and what they cannot do.

                  The only "blocking" it needs to do is to...stop allowing Santa Monica property rentals until it complies with the law.

                  Which means it's not an illegal service tailor made to facilitate breaking the law and is in fact LEGAL.

                  Which it is subject to.

                  No it's not. For reasons I've already described as well as one I haven't. Section 230. Boom sucker.

                  Which the 9th Circuit just affirmed.

                  And which they also got wrong. Section 230 clearly states they are wrong.

                  A company selling a product into the stream of commerce isn't subject to every last jurisdiction

                  But you just said it was.

                  unless it actually avails itself of that jurisdiction, e.g. by doing business with a retailer there.

                  No, that's literally not how the law works.

                  It is quite strange that you are claiming that AirBnB (pre-compliance) is lawful in Santa Monica when the 9th Circuit disagrees.

                  Why? It is. I'm sorry the 9th Circuit disagrees but the federal law clearly states they are wrong, which trumps any local jurisdiction that says otherwise.

                  The 9th Circuit and the city of Santa Monica get to say what the law is, not you.

                  And the Federal law (230) gets to trump Santa Monica and the 9th Circuit. It's not my fault the 9th Circuit got the ruling wrong. The Federal law is QUITE clear. In fact, the 9th circuit had to bring in some very twisted logic to reach the ruling they reached.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:52pm

          Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

          If you are claiming that automakers actually are "held liable for providing products that allow people to break traffic laws" then you need to provide some citations for that. Otherwise you're full of it (as usual).

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2019 @ 8:14am

          Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

          "selling defective or dangerous products"

          ... is not the same as allowing comments on an internet blog.
          The car analogy works to show how ridiculous your claim was, you attempting to flip it around in order to support your pov is quite lame.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2019 @ 8:32am

          Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

          "As offered in Santa Monica, AirBnB is a tool whose primary purpose is to let people break the law." Spoken by someone who has no clue (but may be a shill for the housing market in SM).

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:42pm

      Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

      Platforms are a tool, they can be used by users for legal or illegal means, much like a hammer can be used to build something or smash someone's head in. Why do you want to hold a hammer liable for the actions of the person using it?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:48pm

        Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

        In Santa Monica, as designed, AirBnB is a tool that is tailor-made for breaking the law. If 99% of hammers were used to bash people's heads in, you bet I'd hold the hammer maker liable.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:06pm

          Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

          99% of all AirBnB users do not engage in criminal activity.

          As designed, AirBnB is a tool allowing anyone to easily advertise their living space for rent to the person of their choice and for people to search for said places. They don't need AirBnB to do that, it just makes it easier. People were doing this long before AirBnB existed and will continue to do so long after.

          Renting out your living space is not illegal unless you are bound by local laws or contracts not to do so. If you do anyway, that's on you, not the service you use to advertise.

          AirBnB was not designed and tailor-made to break the law. By that reasoning, cars are designed and tailor-made to break the law because they can go over 55 MPH, AND REGULARLY DO BECAUSE 99% PEOPLE DON'T OBEY THE SPEED LIMIT. You got a comeback for that?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

            Sure. Cars are a general-purpose tool. Everyone speeds, not everyone only speeds at all times. By contrast, AirBnB, in Santa Monica, was used almost entirely for law-breaking. The basic use case, itself, is illegal, unless you are a licensed renter. Liability for the platform in this circumstance, as long as it doesn't purport to hold AirBnB liable as a speaker or publisher, is completely appropriate.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:59pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

              If AirBnB has a line in it's TOS that renters have to affirm that they are in compliance with all local laws (I don't know if they do or don't, but I cannot imagine their lawyers allowing them to operate without such a statement), why should they be held accountable for the renter lying?

              Why would AirBnB know that any of their users were breaking local laws without doing some serious investigations into each and every one of them, because the slippery slope you are greasing up would hold any service provider liable for any law broken by any of it's users.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 2:49pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

              Everyone speeds, not everyone only speeds at all times.

              This is irrelevant. Anyone speeding at any time is instantly in violation of the law. Anyone using AirBnB at any time within Santa Monica, is instantly in violation of the law. There is no difference.

              The basic use case, itself

              of AirBnB is completely legal. Even in Santa Monica as someone else pointed out. It was specifics regarding how they listed it that was illegal.

              is illegal, unless you are a licensed renter

              Only in Santa Monica, which means the basic use case is legal.

              Liability for the platform in this circumstance, as long as it doesn't purport to hold AirBnB liable as a speaker or publisher, is completely appropriate.

              Except for the small problem that AirBnB didn't actually violate any laws. Show me exactly and specifically, the actions AirBnB deliberately and voluntarily took that were illegal. If they did nothing illegal, they can't be held liable.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2019 @ 8:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

              So lets say the city you live in, Stupidville, passes a law that says the speed limit is 0 MPH.

              Are all car manufacturers (Ford, Chevy, Honda, etc) no producing tools that are 'almost entirely' used for law-breaking and they should be sued?

              Or should the city of Stupidville be recognized for the backwards protectionist attitude that is doing nothing to protect it's citizens?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 2:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

          No it's not, because it is legal for people to register and rent their property in Santa Monica.

          What is almost impossible is for a web site to check every local regulation for every sale it enables to ensure that buyer and seller are in compliance with local regulations.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:49pm

        Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

        The platform is injecting itself into a financial transaction. The hammer has no such control over what the person using it does with it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:09pm

          Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

          The platform is injecting itself into a financial transaction.

          Really? I wasn't aware of that. I had no idea that a non-living entity could forcibly place itself between two people exchanging money and that said people have no choice but to use that platform for exchanging that money. Thank you so much for your enlightened wisdom!

          Again, the platform is a tool. How they use that tool, even if for financial transactions, is up to the person using it. If it was illegal for them to do that based on certain local laws/ordinances, than that's the fault of the user, not the tool. It's perfectly legal in practically the entire rest of the country.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 3:35pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

            The tool doesn't handle the money, the website does.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              bob, 28 Mar 2019 @ 4:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

              The website is the tool!

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 6:49pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

              As bob pointed the website is the tool. So yes, the tool does handle the money transaction, or at least facilitates it.

              To go back to the hammer analogy, the hammer flies through the air and directly connects with the victims head, inflicting much greater damage than would normally be possible for just a human throwing a punch, due to the hammer's greater density, hardness, and increased leverage. One or two whacks with a hammer is likely to kill someone instantly whereas just punching them, even repeatedly, generally does not. Therefore the hammer is the instrument of death, not the user's hand. By your logic, it is very much the hammer's fault the victim's brains are now sprayed all over the pavement. Can't blame the user for it.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 6:53pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

                So, prosecute the hammer and let the hammer operator go free? The hammer did it on its own?

                You ability at analogy is seriously warped, and not in a good way.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 7:14pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of

                  How is my analogy warped? That's literally what the AC is saying in regards to this ruling. I'm just applying his logic to a much simpler and easier to understand scenario.

                  Yes, it is ludicrous to prosecute the hammer and not the operator. I thought I was fairly clear I was mocking said AC by applying that logic to a hammer, but I guess not.

                  To be clear then, that is extremely ludicrous and stupid, as is the ruling by the circuit. It makes as much sense as prosecuting a hammer for killing someone instead of the user of said hammer.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2019 @ 8:48am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 230 maximalists will be the deat

                    it's almost like someone may have been 'lobbied' to decide in this manner, perhaps creating a 'precedent' that could be used by a certain industry lobbying association to point to in the future to eliminate that pesky 'individual' competition that may 'steal' their profits by providing a more useful product at a better price...

                    Not that I'm saying a hotel lobbying association with billions of dollars of revenue on the line would ever do something like this...

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:00pm

      Re: 230 maximalists will be the death of 230

      Section 230 was not intended to shield platforms from liability for providing tools that allow users to break the law...

      What makes you think that providing tools that are sometimes used to break the law is illegal in the first place?

      It's not illegal to produce lock picking tools in the US. It's not even illegal to possess such tools. Pretty much all of the laws dealing with "burglary tools" have an element of intent and in order for someone to be convicted of "possession of burglary tools" the government has to show that your intent was to do something illegal with them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Buddy S. Paradigm, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:26pm

    Basic Internet Business Models -- Spying, Content Theft,

    ridiculous Over-charging for little more transferring numbers like Kickstarter scraping of TEN percent, Open Prostitution, Hidden Drug Sales, Pornograpy including Child Pornography, Censorship by the corporatist view of the very Section 230 that holds it empowers mega-corporations to not merely host with immunity but to absolutely and arbitrarily control even 1A speech -- oh, and FAKE NEWS like "Trump-Russia collusion" besides Daily Advocating as you and Masnick do for those mega-corporations.

    Nearly all the " Basic Internet Business Models" are based in Crime, Spying, and Propaganda. Should be tightly regulated indeed instead of let run wild.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:48pm

      Re: Hansmeiers gonna do a dime inclub fed

      Hey bro. Did Alex Jones shit in your Cheerios this morning?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:54pm

      Re bad news job hm

      John guess what?
      No matter how much you beg no ones going to let you talk in bad faith and still stay on lol

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:00pm

      Re: Basic Internet Business Models -- Spying, Content Theft,

      little more transferring numbers like Kickstarter scraping of TEN percent

      Ten percent!!! Oh my gosh that's outrageous! How dare they!

      Are you also going to complain about credit card companies charging 26+% interest? Or what about game hosting platforms like Steam and Epic that take 20% and 12% respectively? Certainly anyone taking ANY cut off the top of providing a service is simply morally unfathomable and they should be shut down immediately!!!

      Censorship by the corporatist view of the very Section 230 that holds it empowers mega-corporations to not merely host with immunity but to absolutely and arbitrarily control even 1A speech

      No matter how many times you say it, moderation by private entities is still not censorship under 1A. It would have to be the government mandating said moderation to qualify it for censorship.

      FAKE NEWS like "Trump-Russia collusion"

      Just because the conclusion was that there was no collusion, does not mean it was fake news. There was evidence to suggest there were attempts by Russia to engage collusion. Due dilligence and a duty to protect our elections required an investigation. We can all breathe a sigh of relief that Trump was at least marginally smart enough, or not dumb enough, to engage in any such efforts.

      Nearly all the " Basic Internet Business Models" are based in Crime, Spying, and Propaganda.

      You must be joking. Oh wait, you're not, you're just delusional. That's worse.

      So that would mean every newspaper that has an online subscription model must be based off crime, spying, and propaganda too right? How about Netflix? Oh wait, CBS has a streaming service, it must be criminal! Yeah, has to be! Time to shut down the MPAA then too since they have online streaming services. And the RIAA too since they release music on digital platforms and for streaming.

      You're absolutely right! EVERY BUSINESS ON THE INTERNET IS A CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION!! Oh wait! I can pay my taxes online! That means, yes, the US government is nothing but a criminal, spying, propaganda organization!! Everyone! Grab your firearms! We have to overthrow them, anarchy and a return to the stone age is the only way to go!

      /clears voice after so much fake rabid yelling and /s just in case/

      Should be tightly regulated indeed instead of let run wild.

      Allow me to introduce you to lots of federal and state regulations stating how internet businesses can and can not do business.

      I trust I've made my point clear?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Toom1275 (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:49pm

        Re: Re: Basic Internet Business Models -- Spying, Content Theft,

        Just because the conclusion was that there was no collusion

        As far as we know, that isn't the case.
        All we have is the word of someone with the specific taskof trying to cover up Presidential wrongding. The actual report is in the process of being buried/edited at the moment. On top of that, it seems Muller was operating under the idea that no matter what the evidence says, he should not indict a sotting President himself, but to leave it to Congress's impeachment decision.

        So "No Collusion" remains the zero-evidence fake news it's always been.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          deadspatula (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 2:42pm

          Re: Re: Re: Basic Internet Business Models -- Spying, Content Th

          Working on the reasonable belief that Barr is being carefully truthful in his wording and is working under the assumption that some form of the report will make it to congress:

          Barr's summary did not say there was no collusion. Rather, stripped of the legalese, Barr's summary quotes that Muller concluded that the evidence was insufficient to prove that there was any coordination or planning between Russia and any member of the Trump campaign in Russia's proven election interference. This does not say that there was none, nor that no evidence exists. Assuming the quotes was accurate, the fact that Muller concluded there was not enough evidence for a criminal indictment on Coordination/Collusion/Conspiracy is not really in doubt, nor is it that surprising. It is the obstruction that was in question. But proven criminality is also not the bar for impeachment, as shown by the history of impeachment. So regardless of the capacity of the criminal jusitice system to convict Trump or his associates for Coordination/Collusion/Conspiracy, what evidence does exist still matters to congress when raising the impeachment question.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Comboman, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:39pm

    Really??

    "For instance, EBay and Amazon...make money from the transactions that result when user expression offering something for sale is answered by users who want to buy. Yet courts...have found them just as protected by Section 230 as their non-transactional platform peers."

    Really? I'm pretty sure if Amazon and eBay started processing sales of cannabis, cocaine and other illegal substances, I don't think they could rely on section 230 to protect them. You can talk about drugs all you want, that is free speech; but if you sell drugs (or profit off the transaction) don't expect your "but free speech" argument to get you anywhere.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:45pm

      And that is why none of those companies allow such content (and likely delete such content if it ever pops up and they are notified of it). Corporate assholes may be greedy, but they are not that stupid.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:47pm

      Re: Really??

      A municipal judge in NYC was once put up for sale on e-bay by a disgruntled litigant, and got a crash-course on why this was allowed to happen.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:15pm

      Re: Really??

      I'm pretty sure if Amazon and eBay started processing sales of cannabis, cocaine and other illegal substances, I don't think they could rely on section 230 to protect them.

      If they are aware of those items being sold on their platforms and do nothing to stop them, then absolutely. However, I could list "Freshly Picked Tea Leaves" for sale on any platform and subsequently ship my customers as much cannabis as they order and none of those platforms would be any wiser.

      The difference is knowledge and intent. None of those platforms knowingly allow those items to be sold on their platforms. Same with AirBnB. It's a legal tool but it's up to the end users to determine whether they can legally use it in their place of residence. In this case, the users screwed up, that's not AirBnB's fault since it's use is legal in 99% of the rest of the country.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Comboman, 29 Mar 2019 @ 10:33am

        Re: Re: Really??

        AirBnB has knowledge that their service is illegal in Santa Monica. They can very easily screen out addresses or zip code to stop people from trying to use their service illegally.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2019 @ 11:51am

          Re: Re: Re: Really??

          Their service isn't illegal in Santa Monica. It's illegal for residents in Santa Monica to use their service if they aren't registered. No action on the part of AirBnB is required. The only action required is that local residents know the laws of the locale they live in and abide by them.

          They can very easily screen out addresses or zip code to stop people from trying to use their service illegally.

          Why? There is literally no reason for them to do so.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Zgaidin (profile), 29 Mar 2019 @ 4:24am

      Re: Really??

      That's a fair argument (or at least one fairer than in the article), but let's suppose I (a hypothetical bad actor) break into your home and steal your hypothetical Playstation 4. Most certainly illegal, and selling it would likewise be illegal, but I turn around and list it on E-bay. Now, E-bay likely has hundreds or thousands of PS4s listed at any given moment, all legal and aboveboard. Nothing about my listing indicates that it's stolen property and should be removed, rather than something I bought or received as a gift and no longer want. There's nothing to differentiate my listing from all the perfectly legal listings. Should E-bay be liable if someone innocently buys the stolen PS4 from me? Obviously, no because such a notion would result in the entire site shutting down, and a useful, lawful service would be lost for everyone. This precedent, however, says otherwise.

      Now, admittedly, Airbnb would have an easier (though still by no means easy) way of checking if any given Sacramento listing was legal or not than Ebay would have checking to see if your PS4 was stolen, but the precedent doesn't make that distinction. It pays lip service the distinction, but ultimately says the facilitation of a transaction is what deprives Airbnb of its CDA 230 coverage. You may dislike Airbnb, perhaps even for very valid, rational reasons, but the court precedent isn't based on those reasons. As a result, it implicates all manner of websites (Ebay, Amazon, GoFundMe, Patreon, Youtube, Kickstarter, etc) who would have to shut down all or portions of their service if this precedent becomes widespread because the threat of liability is to great for them to bear, but that would deprive everyone of their valuable and legal service.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:46pm

    You mean they can't compete with free?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 12:51pm

    Section 230 is on the way out. This is yet another step towards that endgame. The SCOTUS could have affirmed its constitutionality (for distributor/vicarious immunity), and has not.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:03pm

      Re: you have my condolences.

      The hansmeier sentence hit everyone really hard bro. We all react in unique ways while grieving. Some, fantasise about revenge against perceived enemies. Others taunt clearly delusional people peddling revenge fantasies. Others take up knitting.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:27pm

      Re:

      Section 230 is on the way out.

      [Asserts facts not in evidence.]

      This is yet another step towards that endgame.

      Ah so it's a conspiracy then!

      The SCOTUS could have affirmed its constitutionality

      Actually, it did.

      (for distributor/vicarious immunity), and has not.

      Uh, it did that too. With the exception of if they continue to distribute KNOWING it's illegal. As long as they have no reason to assume what they are distributing is illegal, they can't be held liable.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 3:33pm

        Re: Re:

        The SCOTUS has not affirmed distributor immunity for libel under 230, and has had several chances. Name a case where they have. There is none.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 4:09pm

          Re: Don’t do it bro!

          Bro did you forget that you are deathly allergic to evidence in any form!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 7:06pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          To be honest I can't believe you're this stupid to actually make such a claim that is so easily disproved.

          Here, have two:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeran_v._America_Online,_Inc.#Appeals

          http://www.dmlp.org/threats /batzel-v-smith

          In both cases, the plaintiffs petitioned the Supreme Court for further appeal and in both cases were denied which is effectively the court saying "Yeah, we don't see a problem with this".

          If they had looked at it and thought the law was improperly interpreted, they would have picked it up and ruled otherwise. They didn't.

          The Supreme Court is not required to actively rule and affirm on law to make it valid. That's the job of Congress and the President. If you think otherwise, then you misunderstand how our entire government and rule of law works. The Supreme Court is only there to rule and provide clarification when there is truly a question about the law or a specific case that needs to be resolved, or provide a check to the legislative and executive branches if the laws they make conflict with the Constitution. If they decline to hear a case that means they feel its clear enough and the ruling reached is the correct one.

          Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 9:59pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Denying certiorari is NOT the same as affirming the law's constitutionality.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2019 @ 12:11am

              Re: Keep crying crybaby Jhon

              Oh but it IS.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2019 @ 6:16am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Yes it is. Because denying certiorari means the laws and rulings in question don't get struck down/reversed and stay as written/ruled. Therefore, it's tacit acknowledgement of their validity/constitutionality.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 1:33pm

      Re:

      "Section 230 is on the way out."

      Apparently so is everything else, oh well.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Vic B (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 3:42pm

    Suggesting that because it's an online business it ought not be subject to regulation is stretching the definition of freedom of expression. Airbnb is not a social/discussion platform, it's a promotion and transaction business. As such, it has the burden to abide by the legislation of the various communities it transacts in. If anything, Airbnb should be working with top lawyers to craft a regulatory framework that State and/or local government might be willing to approve with minimal changes if any.
    It's no different from Amazon that fought for years against having to levy State taxes from transactions on its website on the account it was too burdensome, among other reasons. And for that matter it's no different from Uber/Lyft bypassing local taxi regulations on account they're only an app. It may work here and there, but not everywhere. Let's not forget that these companies have been successful in part because they bypassed archaic legislation. Government being what it is, it's taken then over 10 years to catch up to now behemoths of the internet, but government is back!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 29 Mar 2019 @ 9:58am

      Re:

      Suggesting that because it's an online business it ought not be subject to regulation is stretching the definition of freedom of expression.

      Thankfully, nobody is suggesting that.

      It's no different from Amazon that fought for years against having to levy State taxes from transactions on its website on the account it was too burdensome, among other reasons. And for that matter it's no different from Uber/Lyft bypassing local taxi regulations on account they're only an app.

      It is different, because those cases have nothing to do with holding Amazon or Uber liable for their customers' speech.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Vic B (profile), 28 Mar 2019 @ 4:01pm

    Suggesting that because it's an online business it ought not be subject to regulation is stretching the definition of freedom of expression. Airbnb is not a social/discussion platform, it's a promotion and transaction business. As such, it has the burden to abide by the legislation of the various communities it transacts in. If anything, Airbnb should be working with top lawyers to craft a regulatory framework that State and/or local government might be willing to approve with minimal changes if any.
    It's no different from Amazon that fought for years against having to levy State taxes from transactions on its website on the account it was too burdensome, among other reasons. And for that matter it's no different from Uber/Lyft bypassing local taxi regulations on account they're only an app. It may work here and there, but not everywhere. Let's not forget that these companies have been successful in part because they bypassed archaic legislation. Government being what it is, it's taken then over 10 years to catch up to now behemoths of the internet, but government is back!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 5:05pm

    Has the 9th circuit ever got it right?

    Every single time the 9th circuit crosses the news feed they've performed activism or taken a wild position that gets reversed in short order and wastes time.

    Call me old fashioned, but why should the public have respect for law when the courts spitball in the wind.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 6:55pm

    You are so obviously wrong about this

    Only on the modern Internet could so many delusional writers gather together and then multiply their apparent force by taking on phoney names and phony profiles, all in order to promote a particularly stupid and totally self-serving point of view about Section 230. Laws are laws. Obey them. Or face the consequences.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 7:08pm

      Re: You are so obviously wrong about this

      a particularly stupid and totally self-serving point of view about Section 230

      The text of said law and multiple court rulings say hi and that you're wrong and a moron.

      Have a nice day. :)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2019 @ 7:09pm

      Re: You are so obviously wrong about this

      Laws are laws. Obey them. Or face the consequences.

      Well, haven't faced any yet and I've been at this for a while so you must be wrong.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2019 @ 12:13am

      Re: You are so obviously wrong about this Jhon

      And your evidence is... nothing. And worth exactly that.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Mar 2019 @ 6:32am

      Re: You are so obviously wrong about federal preemption

      Go have your City Council make an ordinance unconditionally banning the use of train horns within the limits of your home city....and see how long it lasts when the railroad takes it to court.

      (For those wondering: the applicable regulation on the Federal side is 49 CFR 222.7, as authorized by 49 USC 20106.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      TDR, 29 Mar 2019 @ 12:16pm

      Re: You are so obviously wrong about this

      Ah so you're one of those types that thinks that all laws are sane and ethical. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that's simply not true. Many laws are unethical, nonsensical, ineffective, or all of the above. Blind adherence to a law simply because it's a law is utter stupidity. Laws must be examined and authority always questioned and held to account, otherwise we get what we have now, widespread corruption and a bloated body of laws that most people aren't even aware exist. There are so many that it's literally impossible to go a even a day without unknowingly breaking one.

      I've thought more than once that a moratorium on new laws should be put in place until all laws currently on the books have been thoroughly reviewed. Might take decades, but it would keep Congress from making any further bad laws in the meantime and keep them too busy to do much of anything else, including paying attention to lobbyists.

      Not all laws are passed by the will of the people, and most these days aren't even written by Congress, but by lobbyists. Which to me makes them invalid, because by law and the Constitution only Congress has the power to write and make laws. No one else.

      Tell me, if there were a law that said you had to hop on one foot and bark like a dog every day like Eddie Murphy's arranged bride in Coming to America, would you do it? Or would you ignore such an obviously bad law?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2019 @ 10:20pm

      Re: You are so obviously wrong about this

      Keep pissing into the wind and complaining about wet trousers.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    BJC (profile), 29 Mar 2019 @ 1:43pm

    Why money matters

    Even assuming everything the post's author says is true about the malign effects of Santa Monica's law, I don't think Section 230 allows a company to accept money for a transaction a municipality doesn't want to take place.

    The statute's more complicated, but what if the Santa Monica law said, "you can't be part of any payment flow where someone purchases a rental illegal under our laws. Once it leaves the illegal guest's hands, it's illegal for you to touch that money."

    I don't think Section 230 applies to that. I think Santa Monica can basically jump on payment processing and choke the life out of a business it doesn't like on the money side.

    Now, as the author says, there are good policy reasons not to want to do that. But bad economic regulation is not unconstitutional or preempted in America.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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