CanCon Podcast Ep. 54: What should Shopify do about Breitbart?

Shopify and Breitbart

In a time when an entire company can be built off a single idea, the CanCon podcast asks, who owns an idea? And who pays when that idea starts to travel?

In a judgement issued on February 1, a Dallas, Texas jury awarded ZeniMax $500 million in a lawsuit seeking $4 billion from Facebook-owned Oculus over intellectual property. The lawsuit has the CanCon team wondering how companies should protect themselves from intellectual property theft and where the line should be drawn on co-founding narratives.

Canadian company Shopify has found itself at the centre of a heated debate over US politics within the last week. It has come to the attention of many that Shopify is now the largest single source of revenue for Breitbart, a far right conservative publication in the US. Buzzfeed News broke a story about the employees of Shopify advocating for the retail platform to drop Breitbart from its platform. After the story gained momentum online, Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke penned a response informing the world that, although a tough decision for many reasons, Shopify would not be removing shops over personal or political views on the basis of free speech. The entire situation has the CanCon team wondering when, if ever, a company should stand by its principles in the face of political blowback and threats to its bottom line.

Tune in as CanCon’s podcast crew – Jessica Galang, BetaKit News Editor, Patrick O’Rourke, MobileSyrup Senior Editor, Stefan Palios, BetaKit contributor, and Douglas Soltys, BetaKit Editor in Chief – argue in favour of rational discourse.

Have some hot takes on the topics that were covered? Maybe you want to suggest something for a future podcast! Perhaps you have a burning question about something you read in tech news that we didn’t cover. Email us, post a comment below with the answer or question, or better yet, rate CanCon 5-stars on iTunes and post your thoughts there.

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CanCon Podcast Episode 54 (02/11/17)

ZeniMax v Oculus
ZeniMax seeks 4 billion from Oculus in court case
ZeniMax wins Oculus lawsuit and is awarded half a billion dollar judgement

Shopify’s Breitbart problem
Shopify Employees Quietly Urged The Company To Stop Doing Business With Breitbart
Shopify is now the single largest source of revenue for Steve Bannon’s Breitbart
In Support of Free Speech

Canadian Content music clip (under fair dealing): “Legal Tender” by Handsome Furs

Robyn Edgar

Robyn Edgar

Robyn Edgar has a background in computer science, Arctic biology and bioinformatics, but she chose to leave the research world to bring science and tech to the public in the form of broadcast media. She's now BetaKit's resident audio producer. In her spare time, she volunteers at a campus radio station and practices her "old timey" radio voice impressions.

  • labdrive

    I will not do business with a compagny dealing with Breitbart, and will recommend to all my friends to do the same.

  • weeds56

    Shopify showed some balls. If you want to do something,do what any good tolerant liberal would do. Riot, set fires, break windows and pummel people with opposing views

  • Andrew Rothwell

    Nothing