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timshel.

Composition

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"Everything counts a little more than we think..."

15 June 2004 Tuesday

Inventor of the Unpatented Internet

slated in as so at 10:48 am

That guy in Dilbert can think he fixed the Internet (I often hold similar sentiment in my house), but who would be ridiculously cool enough to be able to say (honestly), “I invented the Internet.”
Apparently, that would be Tim Berners-Lee. Mr. Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Internet, is finally being awarded for his thoroughly world-changing contribution. His prize is apparently $1 million. Of course it’s not just about the money. I’m glad he’s being recognized. I’m pleased he was awarded knighthood. About that money, though… $1 million dollars? He, and those who (like Robert Cailliau) contributed to the founding, growth, and maintenance of a free, worldwide internet, deserve $100 million and then some! People owe their billionaireness to the Internet. We owe useful Wikipedias and door-opening CMSs and looking up homework answers with keyword searches and accessible TV reviews to the Internet. If Mr. Berners-Lee is responsible for the invention of the Internet/the decision to keep it free, ….then thank goodness gracious for him.

In the New York Times article, he spoke about the ‘out of control’ patenting on software these days:

“What’s at stake here is the whole spirit in which software has been developed to date, “ he said. “If you can imagine a computer doing it, then you can write a computer program to do it. That spirit has been behind so many wonderful developments. And when you connect that to the spirit of the Internet, the spirit of openness and sharing, it’s terribly stifling to creativity. It’s stifling to the academic side of doing research and thinking up new ideas, it’s stifling to the new industry and the new enterprises that come out of that.”

What a lovely lovely man.

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