Please understand that this page is for informational purposes–it is not comprehensive and not legal advice.
Wondering what to do when you discover an experience that is similar to yours? It is not uncommon to see similar experiences in your city. A new host may have been inspired by existing experiences and could have their own unique perspectives to share. Also, many great ideas can occur to multiple people simultaneously. However, as a business owner, it can be frustrating to discover an experience similar to yours. Your first instinct may be to assume the other host has done something wrong or maybe even violated the law. However, that’s not usually the case, unless other aspects of your experience (such as your photos or specific experience description) are also copied. Read on to learn more.
What are Airbnb’s Experiences Quality Standards?
First, it’s helpful to understand that every host brings their unique insights, perspectives and passion, which are the ingredients to an authentic experience and what distinguishes each experience. Everyone who hosts an experience on Airbnb must also demonstrate high levels of expertise and hospitality and give guests insider access to places or things guests couldn’t find on their own. You can learn more about these quality standards in this article.
Do Airbnb’s Experiences Quality Standards prevent similar experiences?
Our quality standards do not limit experiences based on topic, location, or concept because each experience is unique in that it shares the unique perspective of the host. Guests are attracted to authentic experiences and experience hosts. Your experience description and the unique reviews left by your guests can help you tell the full story of the quality of your experience.
Do intellectual property laws prevent similar Experiences?
Intellectual property laws generally do not protect ideas, but rather the specific ways in which an idea is expressed in a tangible form. Because ideas are generally free to use by others, an experience that has a similar concept to yours or takes place in the same location probably does not violate a protectable intellectual property right. Here’s an example: an idea, which is not intellectual property (and is free for others to use), might be a historical novel set in London that follows a woman through the stages of her life. The expression of the idea would be the factual creation of the novel – the specific combination of words that the author has used to bring this idea to life. This novel, and all the unique work that has gone into it (rather than the idea of the novel), is protected by copyright laws.
What can I do about a similar experience to mine?
- Distinguish yourself as the authentic experience
Since you came up with the idea, and used your own expertise, skills, and passion to make your experience original, no other experience could possibly reproduce it. Other experiences might resemble yours, but they will never be hosted by you. No one can replicate the passion or stories that you bring to your experience.
- Focus on your experience
Focus on continuing to improve and innovate your experience. Try new things to connect with your guests. Recent research done with potential guests shows they are looking for high quality, unique activities and a host’s distinct perspective is often a deciding factor when choosing which experience to book. Your individuality, authenticity, and review rating can often set you apart.
- Consider reaching out
It may simply be a coincidence that another host had a similar idea as you independently. Consider reaching out to the host and see if you can work it out. When reaching out, be courteous and try to assume the best intentions. It may be possible to build a relationship and work together to determine the best way to satisfy both of your experiences.
What can I do if another experience copies my text or photos?
While only you can host your specific experience, if you discover an experience page that is copying the text or photos that appear on your experience page, there is something you can do. First, consider reaching out to the host to see if you can resolve the issue. Once you have taken that step, or if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, visit our copyright policy page and follow the instructions there.
Where can I get more information?
Airbnb cannot provide you with legal advice or legal representation. If you think another experience infringes your legal rights, we encourage you to contact the other person to try to work it out or talk to an attorney. Or visit your local government website or other official resources for more information on the intellectual property laws that apply to your experience, such as this page in the United States and this page in the United Kingdom.