After throngs of Pokémon Go players descended on its parks last year, the County of Milwaukee claims they left behind costly messes that had to be cleaned up using city funds. That’s why, reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, local leaders are now requiring that Niantic, the hit game’s creator, acquire a permit before sending players back into city parks.
But, reports VentureBeat, such rules may violate the First Amendment free expression rights of developers like Niantic. Cities and public officials “don’t have an option to file suit against Niantic. That’s not really in the cards,” Avvo chief legal officer Josh King said at a VentureBeat event last year. “If you want to look at the pure legal issue there, Niantic or Pokémon can associate any piece of property with, let’s call it a virtual signal. They’re well within their First Amendment rights to do that.”
[Photo: Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images]