Tim Berners-Lee auctioning original World Wide Web source code as NFT

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 18
The original source code for the World Wide Web is being auctioned off as a non-fungible token (NFT) by its inventor, Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Credit: The Financial TImesCredit: The Financial TImes
Credit: The Financial TImesCredit: The Financial TImes


Sotheby's will run the auction, which has a starting bid of $1,000, from June 23 to June 30. Proceeds from the auction will benefit initiatives that Berners-Lee and his wife support, Sotheby's said.

Titled "This Changed Everything," the NFT auction will include original time-stamped files containing the web's source code, an animated visualization of the code, a letter penned by Bernes-Lee about the code's creation, and a digital "poster" of the full source code. All will be digitally signed by the inventor.

"For me, the best bit about the web has been the spirit of collaboration. While I do not make predictions about the future, I sincerely hope its use, knowledge and potential will remain open and available to us all to continue to innovate, create and initiate the next technological transformation, that we cannot yet imagine," said Berners-Lee in a statement.

NFTs, which have exploded in popularity in recent months, are a way to record ownership of a digital asset using blockchain technology. Back in March, an NFT from artist Mike Winkelmann, known as "Beeple," fetched $69.3 million on the auction block.

"NFTs, be they artworks or a digital artefact like this, are the latest playful creations in this realm, and the most appropriate means of ownership that exists. They are the ideal way to package the origins behind the web," Berners-Lee said.

Berners-Lee conceived and wrote the code for the world wide web and the first browser between 1989 and 1991. He never patented the code, and instead released it into the public domain. That code built the foundation for the internet as we know it today.

"Sir Tim's invention created a new world, democratizing the sharing of information, creating new ways of thinking and interacting, and staying connected to one another," said Cassandra Hatton, Sotheby's head of science and popular culture. "Over the past several centuries humankind has seen a succession of paradigm shifts that have brought us forward into the modern era ... but none has had the seismic impact on our daily lives as the creation of the World Wide Web."

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    I applaud his entrepreneurial initiative but NFTs aren't worth the paper they're not printed on.
  • Reply 2 of 16
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,812member

    Berners-Lee conceived and wrote the code for the world wide web and the first browser between 1989 and 1991. He never patented the code, and instead released it into the public domain. That code built the foundation for the internet as we know it today.

    AppleInsider, you have a responsibility to not spread misinformation, or use the wrong terminology.

    it's not the "foundation for the internet" that we know today, but the "WWW (World-Wide Web)", which is only ONE part of the larger internet. It's based on the HTTP protocol, which is just one of several protocols used on the Internet.

    Microsoft made this mistake when they called their browser "Internet", which sends the wrong message to users. Users begin to think that the web is the entiry of the internet, and that is factually false.
    macplusplusjony0
  • Reply 3 of 16
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 786member

    Berners-Lee conceived and wrote the code for the world wide web and the first browser between 1989 and 1991. He never patented the code, and instead released it into the public domain. That code built the foundation for the internet as we know it today.

    AppleInsider, you have a responsibility to not spread misinformation, or use the wrong terminology.

    it's not the "foundation for the internet" that we know today, but the "WWW (World-Wide Web)", which is only ONE part of the larger internet. It's based on the HTTP protocol, which is just one of several protocols used on the Internet.

    Microsoft made this mistake when they called their browser "Internet", which sends the wrong message to users. Users begin to think that the web is the entiry of the internet, and that is factually false.
    To most average Joe people that "Foundation for the internet as we know it today" statement sounds right - they experience it through a browser.

    Email, video streaming services, apps - they may not mentally connect them to the internet. The other services that the internet was built on are too obscured for them to even know about.
  • Reply 4 of 16
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,176member

    Berners-Lee conceived and wrote the code for the world wide web and the first browser between 1989 and 1991. He never patented the code, and instead released it into the public domain. That code built the foundation for the internet as we know it today.

    AppleInsider, you have a responsibility to not spread misinformation, or use the wrong terminology.

    it's not the "foundation for the internet" that we know today, but the "WWW (World-Wide Web)", which is only ONE part of the larger internet. It's based on the HTTP protocol, which is just one of several protocols used on the Internet.

    Microsoft made this mistake when they called their browser "Internet", which sends the wrong message to users. Users begin to think that the web is the entiry of the internet, and that is factually false.
    Is the foundation the entirety of the house?  Stop being so sensitive.
  • Reply 5 of 16
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,652member
    some fairly knarly Objective C in there. 
  • Reply 6 of 16
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,294member
    asdasd said:
    some fairly knarly Objective C in there. 
    Online ownership of original obfuscated Objective-C
    edited June 15
  • Reply 7 of 16
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,176member
    No idea why anyone would think this has any value, but it's for good causes, so meh.  People have spent far more money on far stupider things.
    edited June 15 dcgoo
  • Reply 8 of 16
    OctoMonkeyOctoMonkey Posts: 176member
    I applaud his entrepreneurial initiative but NFTs aren't worth the paper they're not printed on.
    As with everything, an NFT is worth what somebody is willing to pay.

    That said, I am basically with you in that I would not pay anything for one.
    Japheyasdasd
  • Reply 9 of 16
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,816member
    crowley said:
    No idea why anyone would think this has any value, but it's for good causes, so meh.  People have spent far more money on far stupider things.
    You sure about that?

    https://www.reuters.com/technology/cryptopunk-nft-sells-118-million-sothebys-2021-06-10/
  • Reply 10 of 16
    xbitxbit Posts: 297member
    I've always considered Sir Tim to be one of the most sensible voices in technology. Pity he's got into this money laundering scheme.
  • Reply 11 of 16
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 787member
    I applaud his entrepreneurial initiative but NFTs aren't worth the paper they're not printed on.
    That was my first reaction to NFTs but I am coming around on the idea. Not enough around to spend money on it but still.

    There is a value to people in ownership of unique things.  Although you can find reproductions of the Mona Lisa just about everywhere, it would still be cool and valuable to own the original.  (I've seen the original, it's smaller than you might expect.)  Modern da Vinci's are creating art that is digital first. Every copy of the file is the same, but the NFT creates an "original" with ownership that can be transferred. 

    The prices for some of the NFTs have reached are insane.  It's pretty awesome that Berners-Lee has created an NFT from something historically important.
    jony0
  • Reply 12 of 16
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 807member
    crowley said:

    Berners-Lee conceived and wrote the code for the world wide web and the first browser between 1989 and 1991. He never patented the code, and instead released it into the public domain. That code built the foundation for the internet as we know it today.

    AppleInsider, you have a responsibility to not spread misinformation, or use the wrong terminology.

    it's not the "foundation for the internet" that we know today, but the "WWW (World-Wide Web)", which is only ONE part of the larger internet. It's based on the HTTP protocol, which is just one of several protocols used on the Internet.

    Microsoft made this mistake when they called their browser "Internet", which sends the wrong message to users. Users begin to think that the web is the entiry of the internet, and that is factually false.
    Is the foundation the entirety of the house?  Stop being so sensitive.
    He's absolutely correct. I was using the Internet certainly 15 years before Berners-Lee invented the HTTP protocol and the browser, and many people I knew were then designing and coding the RFC's that define the many protocols that constitute the Internet -- many who were working under the aegis of DARPA. 

    Back then, we were intimate with machine addresses, IPv4, more recently IPv6, utp, ftp, smtp, imap, ntp, ping, bridges, routers, tftp, arp, rarp, ports, listeners, telnet services, and the seven layers of the Reference Model, and reading the Internet packets that came through our servers. 

    To refer to the WWW as the foundation is to ignore the real foundations which began in the mid-1920's. 

    jony0
  • Reply 13 of 16
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 787member
    larryjw said:
    crowley said:

    Berners-Lee conceived and wrote the code for the world wide web and the first browser between 1989 and 1991. He never patented the code, and instead released it into the public domain. That code built the foundation for the internet as we know it today.

    AppleInsider, you have a responsibility to not spread misinformation, or use the wrong terminology.

    it's not the "foundation for the internet" that we know today, but the "WWW (World-Wide Web)", which is only ONE part of the larger internet. It's based on the HTTP protocol, which is just one of several protocols used on the Internet.

    Microsoft made this mistake when they called their browser "Internet", which sends the wrong message to users. Users begin to think that the web is the entiry of the internet, and that is factually false.
    Is the foundation the entirety of the house?  Stop being so sensitive.
    He's absolutely correct. I was using the Internet certainly 15 years before Berners-Lee invented the HTTP protocol and the browser, and many people I knew were then designing and coding the RFC's that define the many protocols that constitute the Internet -- many who were working under the aegis of DARPA. 

    Back then, we were intimate with machine addresses, IPv4, more recently IPv6, utp, ftp, smtp, imap, ntp, ping, bridges, routers, tftp, arp, rarp, ports, listeners, telnet services, and the seven layers of the Reference Model, and reading the Internet packets that came through our servers. 

    To refer to the WWW as the foundation is to ignore the real foundations which began in the mid-1920's. 

    Sorry.  To refer to the real foundations of the internet as beginning in the mid-1920's is to ignore the actual real foundations, which began in the middle of the 19th century with electrical telegraphy, gutta percha cables, etc. though one could make a claim for the end of the 17th century.
    crowley
  • Reply 14 of 16
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,294member
    williamh said:
    larryjw said:
    crowley said:

    Berners-Lee conceived and wrote the code for the world wide web and the first browser between 1989 and 1991. He never patented the code, and instead released it into the public domain. That code built the foundation for the internet as we know it today.

    AppleInsider, you have a responsibility to not spread misinformation, or use the wrong terminology.

    it's not the "foundation for the internet" that we know today, but the "WWW (World-Wide Web)", which is only ONE part of the larger internet. It's based on the HTTP protocol, which is just one of several protocols used on the Internet.

    Microsoft made this mistake when they called their browser "Internet", which sends the wrong message to users. Users begin to think that the web is the entiry of the internet, and that is factually false.
    Is the foundation the entirety of the house?  Stop being so sensitive.
    He's absolutely correct. I was using the Internet certainly 15 years before Berners-Lee invented the HTTP protocol and the browser, and many people I knew were then designing and coding the RFC's that define the many protocols that constitute the Internet -- many who were working under the aegis of DARPA. 

    Back then, we were intimate with machine addresses, IPv4, more recently IPv6, utp, ftp, smtp, imap, ntp, ping, bridges, routers, tftp, arp, rarp, ports, listeners, telnet services, and the seven layers of the Reference Model, and reading the Internet packets that came through our servers. 

    To refer to the WWW as the foundation is to ignore the real foundations which began in the mid-1920's. 

    Sorry.  To refer to the real foundations of the internet as beginning in the mid-1920's is to ignore the actual real foundations, which began in the middle of the 19th century with electrical telegraphy, gutta percha cables, etc. though one could make a claim for the end of the 17th century.
    I'm sure one could go all the way back to the beginnings of human civilization and the making of loud sounds or reflecting of light to communicate across greater distance than voice allows.  But let's at least acknowledge major milestones in the continuum of communication advancements.
    edited June 16 crowleywilliamh
  • Reply 15 of 16
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,176member
    Rayz2016 said:
    crowley said:
    No idea why anyone would think this has any value, but it's for good causes, so meh.  People have spent far more money on far stupider things.
    You sure about that?

    https://www.reuters.com/technology/cryptopunk-nft-sells-118-million-sothebys-2021-06-10/
    Yes?
  • Reply 16 of 16
    crowleycrowley Posts: 8,176member

    larryjw said:
    crowley said:

    Berners-Lee conceived and wrote the code for the world wide web and the first browser between 1989 and 1991. He never patented the code, and instead released it into the public domain. That code built the foundation for the internet as we know it today.

    AppleInsider, you have a responsibility to not spread misinformation, or use the wrong terminology.

    it's not the "foundation for the internet" that we know today, but the "WWW (World-Wide Web)", which is only ONE part of the larger internet. It's based on the HTTP protocol, which is just one of several protocols used on the Internet.

    Microsoft made this mistake when they called their browser "Internet", which sends the wrong message to users. Users begin to think that the web is the entiry of the internet, and that is factually false.
    Is the foundation the entirety of the house?  Stop being so sensitive.
    He's absolutely correct. I was using the Internet certainly 15 years before Berners-Lee invented the HTTP protocol and the browser, and many people I knew were then designing and coding the RFC's that define the many protocols that constitute the Internet -- many who were working under the aegis of DARPA. 

    Back then, we were intimate with machine addresses, IPv4, more recently IPv6, utp, ftp, smtp, imap, ntp, ping, bridges, routers, tftp, arp, rarp, ports, listeners, telnet services, and the seven layers of the Reference Model, and reading the Internet packets that came through our servers. 

    To refer to the WWW as the foundation is to ignore the real foundations which began in the mid-1920's. 
    Get a grip man, the "internet as most people know it today" is largely the web, with a side serving of email (including web content) and apps (including web content)    Maybe that's not a nerdlinger technical understanding, but most things aren't.  Being pedantic and pithy about this nonsense is ridiculous.  Tim Berners Lee's contribution to how the internet has become a major part of everyday life is profound.  It's foundational.

    Enough appeals to purity, more common sense.  Your "real" foundations can kiss TBL's ass.
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