You might remember some time ago that a number of homeowners came together to file lawsuit against Niantic. The homeowners claimed that Pokemon GO was influencing players to wander about into their yards without permission, and they wanted Niantic to be held responsible.
Niantic has decided to settle the lawsuit and fix some in-game aspects that might have caused these trespassing issues. Here's a list of everything Niantic promises to do moving forward.
—Upon complaints of nuisance or trespass and demands of the removal of a "PokéStop" or "Gym," the company will make commercially reasonable efforts to resolve the complaint and communicate a resolution within 15 days.
—Owners of single-family residential properties get rights of removal within 40 meters of their properties.
—Niantic will maintain a database of complaints in an attempt to avoid poor placement of these virtual creatures.
—When Niantic's system detects a raid of more than 10 players congregating, a warning message will appear on their screens reminding them to be courteous and respectful of surroundings.
—Niantic is also working with user-reviewers and mapping services like Google Maps to also mitigate any problems plus maintaining a mechanism so that park authorities can request a park's hours of operation be honored.
—At the company's expense, Niantic will have an independent firm audit compliance with obligations during a three-year period.
Those involved in the lawsuit may be awarded $1,000 each. The law firm of Pomerantz, will be able to seek up to $8 million in attorney's fees and $130,000 in expenses.
UPDATE - We have a statement on this matter provided us to the PR firm involved with Niantic.
This is a proposed settlement for injunctive relief and does not include any monetary damages to the class. Additionally, Niantic has not yet agreed to any payment amounts for the law firm involved or the lead plaintiffs. This proposed settlement has not yet been approved by the judge in the case. If approved, it would impact the processes we use to approve or remove certain Pokestops or Gyms within Pokemon GO.