Airbnb’s peer-to-peer rentals are being scrutinized in Los Angeles; Miami Beach, Florida; Portland, Oregon; Toronto; Barcelona; and Berlin. In its hometown of San Francisco, a federal judge on Nov. 8 upheld rules could levy hefty fines on its platform. In New York, the company’s largest US market, governor Andrew Cuomo in October signed into law some of the toughest limits on short-term apartment rentals in the country. The backlash comes right as Airbnb is looking to transform itself into a full-service travel firm, and as it inches toward an inevitable IPO. The company isn’t taking it well—its lawsuit against Santa Monica was one of four complaints Airbnb lodged against US cities this year. At the same time, the company brands itself to hosts, guests, and investors as a champion of the middle class. Its founders and executives speak often of empowering families to pay their bills, and making it possible for people to stay in their homes. In its own telling, Airbnb is the clear good guy—a startup providing a financial lifeline, an economic boost, and a tool to make ends meet. The villains are those who stand in the way of innovation, chiefly the hotel lobby. Get the full story at Quartz