30 years ago, on April 30, 1993, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, CERN, made an important announcement. CERN Director of Research Walter Hoogland and Director of Administration Helmut Weber decided to publicize the World Wide Web tool, first proposed by scientist Tim Berners-Lee in 1989, to allow scientists and scientific institutions working on CERN data around the world to quickly share information. They had no idea how much it would change the world.
The corresponding document signed by scientists was duly registered on May 3, 1993. Then, 30 years ago, copyright licensing standards were in the early stages of development. This first release of the document states that “CERN relinquishes all intellectual property rights to this code, both source and binary and permission is given to anyone to use, duplicate, modify and distribute it.”
However, as the concept of open source software continued to evolve, the next version of the software was released in 1994 under an open source license, as opposed to being released into the public domain. This meant that CERN still held the copyright, but anyone who wanted to was free to use and modify the Internet. You can read more about Internet licensing at this link.
The release of the World Wide Web in public access and the appearance of the first browsers marked the birth of the modern Internet. So happy holiday to everyone who uses the Internet, that is, almost all the inhabitants of the planet Earth.
The main image shows the first World Wide Web logo, created by Robert Cailliau in 1990.