I know this will be an unpopular comment, especially with the group of people who use "statist" as a slur of choice, but lets be honest - Airbnb, Uber, and the whole so-called "sharing" economy needs to stop mincing words to get out of paying and adhering to regulations that everyone else has to do so. They choose to use the word "disruptive", but what it really comes down to is running an unlicensed hotel or so-called "gypsy cab" service.
Uber (and most other competitors) isn't a "ride share" service (ie I'm going where you are, let me pick you up), but a full fledged taxi/sedan service that you just happen to call or hail via an app. How they manage their entire business is evidence of this. However, they claim they're "ride sharing" and thus get around all of the regulations on what it means to be a ride-for-hire business in areas where they operate. AirBNB is no better, with legitimate "couchsurfing" being replaced with running unlicensed hotels/BNBs. Hell, there are many areas where it has impacted the real-estate market because now businesses and individuals alike are beginning to buy out residential property and then post it on AirBNB which means legitimate tenants are going to find housing even less affordable. Prior to the loophole being exploited, it would have not been possible to run short term rentals/hotels in these areas, without having to have the insurance and inspections required, collect taxes if necessary in said jurisdiction etc... but hey, they're "just a disruptive app for the sharing economy".
On Slashdot and elsewhere we rightly become irate when we hear that governments use "Because its happening on a computer, its somehow worse/different/not bound by the same rights and protections", don't we? When someone gets a decades long prison sentence for some sort of hacking issue tried under RICO? When your digital correspondence can be grabbed without a warrant in a way postal mail could never be? So why are we okay when some corporate entity uses that same excuse to justify this scam? If you want to run a hotel or limo/car service, that's great. However, you have to follow the same standards as everyone else. This doesn't mean we shouldn't change and modernize those rules, but if you suggest that regulation itself is somehow the enemy or that we should just give these businesses a pass, then you're complicit in pushing this nation even further over the ledge for the goods of corporate profit, damn the consequences.
The suit against AirBNB is valid and they exist and in fact, profit, exclusively through being a "wink wink nudge nudge couchsurfing site". Now they're whining because the "compromise" they asked for, which would still allow them to basically exploit short term rentals in a way you couldn't and frankly shouldn't in most residential zones, could actually require them to do some due diligence on their part? They should be thankful it isn't more dramatic legislation. I'd favor putting an end to these loopholes all together, forcing AirBNB (and those that list their properties within) to comply with bed-and-breakfast/hotel ownership regulations. This, in hand with modernizing those regulations and making them both more sensible and easier to understand and comply should make a better experience for everyone.
Tech companies and those behind them seem to comport themselves as being "better, more socially conscious" than the "bad, old money professions" such as finance and the like, but they share the same "fuck everyone else, I should be able to 'disrupt' the industry, externalize my risk/costs onto the public to reap in even larger private profits" attitude. Driving a Tesla while you foist another weight on an already overburdened, affordable housing market is no better than going to four and five figure a plate galas for poverty, while your business practices put millions into said poverty in the first place. Corporate and financial interests must be monitored and if necessary, cowed, for the good of society lest whatever their excuse of choice - "disruption" or "fiduciary responsibility to our shareholders" - justifies profit at the expense of the rules and regulations we must have for a more equitable, healthful, and prosperous nation as a whole.