by CIO Staff

This Date in IT History – Web Technology Released as Freeware

Apr 01, 20041 min

April 30, 1993 Tim Berners-Lee (right), a physicist, convinces the CERN research lab in Switzerland to declare on this day that the Web technology and program code should be in the public domain, meaning that anyone could use and improve it. It was a fateful decision because it allowed for the Web to grow, note Berners-Lee and fellow researcher Robert Cailliau in their online history of the Web (at

Speaking of World Wide Web, Cailliau gives this explanation for its name:

“During some sessions in the CERN cafeteria, Tim and I try to find a catching name for the system. I was determined that the name should not yet again be taken from Greek mythology. Tim proposes ’World-Wide Web.’ I like this very much, except that it is difficult to pronounce in French.”

Chalk one up for collaboration. At the end of 2003, Berners-Lee becomes Sir Tim, awarded a knighthood in his native Britain.