On 30 April 1993 CERN published a statement that made World Wide Web (“W3”, or simply “the Web”) technology available on a royalty-free basis. By making the software required to run a web server freely available, along with a basic browser and a library of code, the web was allowed to flourish.
British physicist Tim Berners-Lee invented the web at CERN in 1989. The project, which Berners-Lee named “World Wide Web”, was originally conceived and developed to meet the demand for information sharing between physicists in universities and institutes around the world. Other information retrieval systems that used the internet – such as WAIS and Gopher – were available at the time, but the web’s simplicity along with the fact that the technology was royalty free led to its rapid adoption and development.
More on this is at info.cern.ch.