In January 2018, a federal court ruled in favor of Airbnb in a lawsuit filed by Aimco involving its tenants illegally subletting their rented spaces on Airbnb. The court defended Airbnb under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which does not hold Internet based services liable for the actions of their users. Instead the tenants are believed to be held responsible for illegally subletting their spaces without attaining prior consent from their landlords.
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Airbnb uses drip pricing; when customers search for lodging, Airbnb displays per-night prices that exclude its service fees and the total charges are not revealed until the customer selects an individual property. After a crackdown by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in October 2015, users of Airbnb's Australian web site now see the total price of a stay including all unavoidable charges at every stage of the booking process.
Shortly after moving to San Francisco in October 2007, roommates and former schoolmates Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia could not afford the rent for their loft apartment. Chesky and Gebbia came up with the idea of putting an air mattress in their living room and turning it into a bed and breakfast. The goal at first was just "to make a few bucks". In February 2008, Nathan Blecharczyk, Chesky's former roommate, joined as the Chief Technology Officer and the third co-founder of the new venture, which they named AirBed & Breakfast. They put together a website which offered short-term living quarters, breakfast, and a unique business networking opportunity for those who were unable to book a hotel in the saturated market. The site Airbedandbreakfast.com officially launched on August 11, 2008. The founders had their first customers in town in the summer of 2008, during the Industrial Design Conference held by Industrial Designers Society of America, where travelers had a hard time finding lodging in the city.