Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Web anniversary -- 15 years in the public domain

We discuss IT history, including that of the Web.

Today is the fifteenth anniversary of the placing of the Web in the public domain -- enabling it to grow to what it is today.

In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee was working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. He proposed that CERN develop a hypertext (link) based document management system for the Internet. You can read his proposal here.

The proposal was accepted and work began on what would become the first Web client/server.

On April 30 1993, CERN placed the Web software in the public domain, allowing anyone to build and use Web browsers and servers without paying a royalty. The BBC published several articles commemorating the fifteenth anniversary of that date, including:

What do you think would have happened to the Web if CERN management had decided to copyright the Web protocols and software and charge royalties for those wanting to use them?