39 B. C. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 129 (2016)
Up in the Air: Harmonizing the Sharing Economy through Airbnb Regulations

handle is hein.journals/bcic39 and id is 129 raw text is: 





      UP IN THE AIR: HARMONIZING THE

          SHARING ECONOMY THROUGH

                 AIRBNB REGULATIONS



                           JOHANNA INTERIAN *

  Abstract: The practice of opening up one's home to accommodate strangers is
  not new, but it has been revitalized and expanded through the sharing economy
  and-in particular-through the technology-based platform Airbnb. Despite
  marketing itself as a tool to connect people across the world, Airbnb has dis-
  tanced itself from responsibility to its users and the communities in which it op-
  erates. As a leader in the sharing economy, Airbnb should be liable for limited
  actions of hosts consistent with the externalities generated by transient home
  sharing. A number of European cities serve as a model for how U.S. jurisdictions
  can respond effectively to the growing demand for short-term housing through
  Airbnb while also taking into account the externalities that the platform imposes
  on the permanent housing market. Moreover, the pervasiveness of Airbnb, and
  the sharing economy as a whole, exposes deficiencies in the federal laws that
  govern online behavior, revealing the necessity for such laws to be revisited.

                              INTRODUCTION

     From parking spots to pet sitting, Internet-based sharing applications (or
simply, apps) have expanded over the years to cover a diverse range of in-
dustries.1 The sharing economy taps into an existing base of items that people
already own.2 Also known as the peer-to-peer economy or collaborative con-
sumption, the sharing economy's appeal-and, in many instances, its profita-
bility-derives from its users repurposing something that they have in excess
(or at least a comfort that they can spare) and putting it to use for someone


    * Johanna Interian is a Note Editor for the Boston College International & Comparative Law
Review.
    1 See, e.g., PARKER BY STREETLINE, http://www.theparkerapp.com [http://perma.cc/3G75-
DQFQ] (last visitedNov. 11, 2015) (parking spots); DOGVACAY, http://dogvacay.com [http://perma.
cc/F23K-T59W] (last visited Nov. 11, 2015) (pet sitting); Bret Swanson, The Choice Between Uber
and Uber-Regulation, TECH POL'Y DAILY (June 11, 2014), http://www.techpolicydaily.com/
communications/choice-uber-uber-regulation [http://perma.cc/9F8K-P9UH].
    2 KOOPMAN ET AL., MERCATUR CENTER AT GEO. MASON UNIV., THE SHARING ECONOMY AND
CONSUMER PROTECTION REGULATION: THE CASE FOR POLICY CHANGE 4-5 (2014); The Sharing
Economy: Boom and Backlash, ECONOMIST (Apr. 26, 2014), http://www.economist.com/news/
business/21601254-consumers-and-investors-are-delighted-startups-offering-spare-rooms-or-rides-
across-town [http://perma.cc/54XE-NSZ5].

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