Invented as a concept by Sir Tim Berners-Lee back in 1989 while working at the organization in Geneva, the concept of web took the form of a website in 1991. On April 30, 1983 1993 CERN confirmed that it was giving away the technology to the world by relinquishing “all intellectual property rights to this code, both source and binary form”. The organization also granted the permission that anyone can “use, duplicate, modify and redistribute it.”

When the code was released there were a few caveats. CERN didn’t provide warranty of any kind in regards to the code and that the risk arising out of quality and performance were for the users to bear. Despite this there was no stopping the WWW and organizations and users from across the globe have used the openness of the code to build great websites, services and portals.

Marking the 20th anniversary, CERN has restored the first ever web URL as an active link. Dan Noyes notes in a blog post, “The early WWW team, led by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN, had such vision and belief. The fact that they called their technology the World Wide Web hints at the fact that they knew they had something special, something big.”

Underlining the importance of the web, CERN Director General Rolf Heuer, notes “There is no sector of society that has not been transformed by the invention, in a physics laboratory, of the web.”

“From research to business and education, the web has been reshaping the way we communicate, work, innovate and live. The web is a powerful example of the way that basic research benefits humankind.”