They can opt out anytime they wish with robots.txt. They always could do that. So why is it news that they all opt out? (That is rhetorical to your stupid question, BTW.)
They will make news by all simultaneously opting out in a news extravaganza and then quietly opt back in so it doesn't make any headlines. Same crap like when the govt puts out an economic report and then quietly revise it so no one notices.
here is my detailed explanation of how it should work
The broken patent system has put a huge drag on both economic and technology advancement. Consider, if we as a society were to totally disallow the ownership of technology. There are basically 2 cases I can see. (This is just a brain dump as I consider my own position on this subject.)
case 1. Two almost equally sized companies working on the same product(s). Seems fine. Let them compete on execution. The one to think of it first has a head start already, they don't need to be granted exclusive rights.
case 2. Smaller company tech is reverse engineered by large company and then out competed in the marketplace by the larger company with more resources. This case is the only one patents help with and should cover.
It seems like we do need to allow some sort of limited ownership of tech to prevent case 2 from stifling startups. So for patents to work as a benefit to society, they need to operate as follows.
1. Startup company files a patent to give them exclusive right to develop a new product they thought up first. Patent includes deliverables and development timelines. Company pays a yearly fee along with updates to the timelines. If timelines are missed by more than 1 year on each update, patent is invalidated. (This to make sure progress to market is actually being made.) Company is given 1-5 years exclusive market rights after the product is delivered (depending on the product) to recoup costs and establish a market.
2. An established company (one with at least one product on the market and revenue) can file a patent only to keep (1) from preventing them from developing a product. That is, since (1) allows startups to block an established company from entering a market for a period, if the established company thinks of an idea first they need a way to keep that from happening. Patents from an established company do not require a development timeline since they cannot be used to prevent anyone from developing the patented technology.
As far as I can tell, this scheme would fix the patents system to be beneficial to everyone that actually does something. (ie. not lawyers or politicians). There is room for the non-practicing inventor to file a patent (without development timeline) and then sell it within one year, either to a big company, or to a startup (that then needs to add a timeline to it and refile.) See any holes in it? Why wouldn't this work?
There is only one case I can think of where it seems like we need a protection system. This is the case where a startup should be given time to develop an idea without a large company with a great deal more resources available buldozing them over. Else all we end up with is big companies and no startups. I explained this idea in detail once, but probably nobody read it.
Where is the easy-to-vote-for congress guy in my state (AZ)? You Coloradoans are privileged to be able to cast your vote for this Polis guy and feel good about it. In my state, whoever I vote for I feel dirty about it afterward.
Economists do do those things. There may be economists that also just compile statistics. But people calling themselves "economists" do those things. The reporter that wrote that headline about cancer didn't start calling himself a "scientist". And these people recognized as "economists" (though you claim not) go beyond reporting to also interpret and predict. Perhaps society would be better served with a different name for those that interpret than those that compile statistics. But for now, all we have is "economist".
You mean when National Association of Realtors says "here is our Chief Economist Lawrence Yun" (or whoever it is now) that Larry isn't really an "economist"? Or that when PBS news says "here is economist X from univeristy Y" that X isn't really an "economist"? Tell them that, not me. I am not the one that paraded them out and call them an "economist". The people that are saying they are an economist if they in fact are not would be the ones causing any confusion.
I have never seen an honest economist. That is, every economist I see on the news or read online is wearing the glasses of their owner and describing the world from that distorted view. They are able to bend and ignore logic with the same ease they whore themselves out to their masters. The economy is complicated, no? With many layers of cause and effect left to interpretation.
You see a university professor on PBS News Hour, and think, "This guy teaches economics at university, so he must be impartial and really know his stuff." Then you hear him spout nonsense that seems to defy simple reality and think, "This guy is an idiot incapable of using simple logic and HE is a professor?" Go find out who is funding his research and then it will make a little more sense. It doesn't seem too surprising that those who's job it is to think about the influence of money are so easily influenced by it.
So you need to hire lawyers to set up your company structure in an obfuscated way so that other lawyers will have a hard time attacking it? Ok. But it sounds like a symptom of the problem to me. I just want to create technology. Why do lawyers (whether they belong to me or not) have to stick their noses all up in my business for me to get anything done?