Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Judges Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh participated in majority opinion. Judge Amy Coney Barrett was not involved in the case, which was debated before she joined the court.
In disagreement, Justice Clarence Thomas, along with Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., said that skipping the first question was a serious analytical mistake. “The court incorrectly ignored the main question we were asked to answer,” he wrote, adding that he would rule that the code is protected by copyright law.
The majority’s approach is inexplicable, writes Justice Thomas, and its rationale – that technology is changing rapidly – is odd, because change “is a constant where computers are. care”.
Justice Breyer used what he called a “far-fetched” analogy to describe what the controversial code did. “Imagine that you can, through certain keystrokes, instruct the robot to move to a particular document cabinet, open a certain drawer and pick out a specific recipe,” he wrote. . “With the right recipe in hand, the robot will then move to your kitchen and hand it over to the chef to prepare the dish.”
Justice Breyer wrote that the four fair use elements outlined in the Copyright Act all support Google. The nature of the code, he wrote, “is tightly tied to a common system, a division of computational tasks, which no one claims is the right copyright object.”
The use of Google’s code, he added, has created something new. “It seeks to expand the use and usefulness of smartphones based on Android,” wrote Justice Breyer. “Its new product provides programmers with a highly innovative and innovative tool for the smartphone environment.”
Google also doesn’t copy too much of Oracle’s code. 11,000 lines of code in question, he writes, make up 0.4% of the code universe involved.