Just days before San Francisco’s “Airbnb law” is scheduled to take effect, a federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a challenge to the law from rival vacation-rental firm HomeAway but left the door open for HomeAway customers to file their own lawsuit.
The ordinance legalizes and regulates vacation-rentals in private homes. HomeAway claimed that it was tailored for Airbnb’s business model and asked for a preliminary injunction to stop it from taking effect Sunday. That implementation date can go forward, the court ruled.
HomeAway’s objections focused on residency and tax requirements.
Most of the 1,200 San Francisco rentals advertised on HomeAway and its subsidiary VRBO are second homes, whose owners live elsewhere and thus don’t meet the permanent residency requirement. And the law said that “hosting platforms” must collect and remit San Francisco’s 14 percent hotel tax. HomeAway argued that it is not a middleman like Airbnb, which handles the entire rental transaction, but merely a marketplace — more like Craigslist or the newspaper classifieds — where homeowners can list the spaces.
Read full article on SFGate
The Reference Desk will close at 5 PM on Thursday, January 22nd, 2015. It will reopen at 8:30 AM on Friday. For the full Reference Desk schedule, visit http://library.uchastings.edu/services/ask-a-librarian/index.php
Classes for the LRC start today! Classes are held on Tuesdays at noon. Classes include researching secondary sources, statutes, case law, international law, California legislative history, administrative law, free & alternative resources, and conducting precision searching.
Check Blackboard for the full list of classes with days, times and location. More information on how to enroll and certificate requirements can be found on Blackboard and at http://library.uchastings.edu/services/certificate.php
In California, community college tuition and fees average less than $1,500 a year, the lowest in the nation, and with government grants, most students pay nothing. In Florida and Michigan, the cost is over $3,000, yet poorer students still attend free. But in Vermont and New Hampshire, prices are around $7,000, well over what government grants cover.
That broad range means that President Obama’s proposal to make community college tuition-free nationwide — if Congress and the states were to embrace it — would benefit every student of the two-year colleges, but that far greater benefits would go to students in the states with the highest tuition. And while it would aid the economically hard-pressed, it would also effectively extend federal aid to millions of middle- and upper-income students who do not qualify for it currently.
Read full article in New York Times.
A California ban on foie gras can’t be enforced because it violates U.S. poultry regulations, a federal judge said in a victory for producers of the delicacy made from fattened duck and goose livers.
The ban, which took effect in 2012, was the first by a state to make it illegal to sell foie gras. Animal-rights advocates supported the ban, arguing that force-feeding ducks and geese with a tube inserted in the esophagus to fatten their livers was cruel.
U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson in Los Angeles agreed with American and Canadian producers and a restaurant group suing to overturn the prohibition that the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act preempts California from imposing its own rules on poultry ingredients and sales.
Read the article on Bloomberg.com
Banning leaf blowers? Redefining “milk?” Making living conditions better for hens? In 2015, a number of new state and local laws will go into effect across the country, and you may see some of these changes being made in your area.
Read article on ABC News.
WASHINGTON — Anthony Elonis claimed he was just kidding when he posted a series of graphically violent rap lyrics on Facebook about killing his estranged wife, shooting up a kindergarten class and attacking an FBI agent.But his wife didn’t see it that way. Neither did a federal jury.
Elonis, who’s from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was convicted of violating a federal law that makes it a crime to threaten another person.
In a far-reaching case that probes the limits of free speech over the Internet, the Supreme Court on Monday was to consider whether Elonis’ Facebook posts, and others like it, deserve protection under the First Amendment.
Read article on PBS