Milwaukee County was named in a federal lawsuit filed by Candy Lab AR, the makers of a game called “Texas Rope ‘Em,” for an ordinance requiring game makers to acquire permits to include county parks in games such as Pokémon GO.
According to the lawsuit, Candy Lab believes the requirements violate the company’s First Amendment rights. Under the regulations, companies must submit an application and a certificate of insurance for $1 million in general liability coverage if they want to include the parks in their game.
From the suit:
This restriction impinges on Candy Lab AR’s right to free speech by regulating Candy Lab AR’s right to publish its video games that make use of the augmented reality medium. The Ordinance is a prior restraint on Candy Lab AR’s speech, impermissibly restricts Candy Lab AR’s speech because of its content, and is unconstitutionally vague such that Candy Lab AR does not have notice as to what speech must be approved by permit and which it can express without seeking a permit.
Candy Lab is demanding the court remove the requirements and prohibit the county from enforcing them.
When the requirements were first issued, County Executive Chris Abele said the county was simply asking the makers of Pokémon GO to follow the same rules as the participants of geocaching and share in the responsibility for maintaining the parks.
Last summer Pokémon GO was quite popular in Milwaukee, including at Lake Park where hundreds would gather to play together.