Writer Steward Brand first made the statement "information wants to be free" at the first Hackers Conference in 1984. The May 1985 issue of "Whole Earth Review" published the transcript of Brand's remarks.
Brand, the founder of "Whole Earth Catalog," made the statement in response to remarks made by Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple. Brand and Wozniak had participated in a discussion about the value and cost of information. At the conference, Brand also stated, "Information wants to be expensive."
"Information wants to be free" has become a popular slogan among various people including hackers and computer programmers who write open code software.