Thirty Years of the Web in the Public Domain

Coralie Mercier, on the W3C’s blog:

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the release of the World Wide Web into the public domain, for general use, and at no cost, on 30 April 1993 by CERN.

This quiet gesture, advocated by Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has had implications beyond what he or anyone imagined at that time: the Web, free for everyone, has changed our lives.

Can you imagine how different the world would be had the web been encumbered by patents owned by a litigious organization? It would have killed the very promise of the web. A small taste of that possibility contributed to the downfall of Gopher, according to Christopher Lee. The innovation of the past thirty years has been made possible because so much of its foundation was — and remains — open and free.