WWW finally turns a profit for its inventor - $1.2 million

He wins first-ever Millennium Technology Prize.

By: Mans Hulden

The ASSOCIATED PRESS  HELSINKI, Finland — Tim Berners-Lee, who received a $1.2 million cash prize Tuesday for creating the World Wide Web, says he would never have succeeded if he had charged money for his inventions. “If I had tried to demand fees ----there would be no World Wide Web,” Berners-Lee, 49, said at a ceremony for winning the first Millennium Technology Prize.----There would be lots of small webs.”

The prize committee agreed, citing the importance of Berners-Lee’s decision never to commercialize or patent his contributions to the Internet technologies he had developed, and recognizing his revolutionary contribution to humanity’s ability to communicate. Berners-Lee, who is originally from Britain and was knighted last December, has mostly avoided both the fame and the fortune won by many of his Internet colleagues. Despite his prize, he remained modest about his achievements. “I was just taking lots of things that already existed and added a little bit,” said Berners-Lee, who now runs the standard-setting World Wide Web Consortium from an office at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (MIT).

“Building the Web, I didn’t do it all myself,” he said. “The really exciting thing about it is that it was done by lots and lots of people, connected with this tremendous spirit.”  Berners-Lee indeed took concepts that were well known to engineers since the 1960s, but it was he who saw the value of marrying them. Pekka Tarjanne, chairman of the prize committee, said no one doubts who the father of the World Wide Web is, except Berners-Lee himself.” Finish President Tarja Halonen presented the biennial award, subsidized by the government. The cash prize is among the largest of its kind, and Berners-Lee is the first recipient.

The prize committee outlined the award to be given for an out-standing inno-vation that directly promotes people’s quality of life, is based on humane values and encourages sustainable economic development.” Isn’t this like a definition of the World Wide Web?” Tarjanne asked.

On the Net:

Millennium Technology Prize: www.technologyawards.org

Tim Berners-Lee: www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee

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