Throwback diaries: World Wide Web was freed today 26 years ago

On April 30, 1993, CERN put the World Wide Web software in the public domain. That meant that it was available for common people’s use. If you’re able to view this article today, download music or stream movies it’s because of selfless scientists at CERN wanted to ensure a single, free system for accessing the internet for everybody.

This day changed everything. Like most inventions which go on to change the world, the birth of the World Wide Web happened with very little fanfare. Then it just took off. Nothing would be the same again.

The WWW was invented by Tim Berners Lee, a British scientist at CERN in 1989. The web was originally conceived and developed to meet the demand for automatic information sharing between scientists in universities around the world. Lee proposed an information management system in 1989 and had a working model of the web by 1990.

The first website went online on August 6, 1991. By 1993 some user groups were vying to monopolize the web as a commercial platform. Motivated by the philosophy that the internet should be free to everyone, on April 30, 1993, CERN announced that the ‘www’ would be free to anyone, with no fees due.

Years down the lane, the internet created the platform and opportunity for people to communicate, collaborate and share information at unprecedented scale and speed.


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