Scientific American

Is Apple helping kill the Web?

November 19, 2010: 11:18 AM ET

For its 20th anniversary, the man who invented the World Wide Web sounds a warning

Sir Timothy. Photo: Paul Clarke via Wikipedia

Totalitarian governments. Cable monopolies. Magazine smartphone apps. The walled gardens of giant social networking sites. And Apple's (AAPL) iTunes music store.

These are some of the things Tim Berners-Lee, who launched the World Wide Web in December 1990 -- on one of Steve Jobs' NeXT computers, we might add -- cites as threats to its survival.

The Web, he writes in a long Scientific American article posted Friday, was built on principles of openness and egalitarianism and three simple protocols: HTML, HTTP and the URL (which he calls the URI).

Not using these open standards, he warns, creates closed worlds. Like iTunes:


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