International Journal of Tourism, Travel and Hospitality Law 2023

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TOURISM, TRAVEL AND HOSPITALITY LAW the rules of the E-Commerce Directive.18 As a general principle, the E-Commerce Directive prohibited Member States from imposing on internet intermediaries any general obligation to monitor their users’ activities and prevent them from posting illegal content.19 Platform operators try to avoid any obligation to ensure the rental services comply with legal requirements prescribed by the local housing laws or zoning regulations for short-term tourist rentals. The responsibility for taking care of the legality of the rental is left to the hosts. Terms of service of short-term rental platforms typically stipulate that the platform acts only as an intermediary between the guest and the host and is not party to the contractual relationship between them. By accepting the terms of service, the property owner pledges that the lodging is rented out in accordance with the local zoning laws and with the neighbours’ consent, if required, and that all administrative permits have been obtained that may be prescribed for short-term tourist rentals.20 The platform assumes no responsibility for possible violations of these rules. 3 THE PROPOSED NEW PLATFORM RULES In December 2020, the European Commission proposed a comprehensive set of new rules for all digital services, including social media, online market places, and other online platforms that operate in the European Union (EU). The legislative package consists of drafts of two new pieces of legislation dealing with the activity of online platforms: the Digital Markets Act (DMA)21 and the Digital Services Act (DSA)22. Both legislative proposals build on the idea that the dominant position of certain platforms operating in the digital environment requires an increase in their legal responsibilities.23 In the Commission’s words, the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act have two main goals: to 18 Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market, OJ L 178, 17. 7. 2000, p. 1 -16. 19 Rowland, Kohl and Charlesworth, 2012, p. 73; Spindler, 2020, pp. 3–4. 20 Vlahek and Damjan, 2018, p. 123. 21 Proposal for a Regulation on contestable and fair markets in the digital sector (Digital Markets Act), COM(2020) 842 final, 15. 12. 2020. 22 Proposal for a Regulation on a Single Market for Digital Services (Digital Services Act) and amending Directive 2000/31/EC, COM(2020) 825 final, 15. 12. 2020. 23 Quinn, 2021, p. 2.