Life on the Internet

‘The single most valuable document in the history of the World Wide Web’

CERN relinquishes all intellectual property to this code, both source and binary form and permission is granted for anyone to use, duplicate, modify and redistribute it.

It’s a dull sentence from a dull document. But that document marks the moment when the World Wide Web entered the public domain — a moment that was central to creating the Web as we know it today.

NPR asks: Could the Web have been patented? And how would the world have been different if it had?