We should recognize, therefore, that the "Open Source" narrative was invented for a specific economic and political purpose. A handful of firms and a lot of money wanted to *use* publicly licensed source code and the labor of volunteers, but wanted to *thwart* the goal of giving all software users personal freedom. For that purpose, it would not do to have a charasmatic figurehead (love RMS or hate him) defining the branding term "free software". Just as RMS could embarrass Gosling or expose the lie in Cygnus' problems, RMS and the FSF - left unmolested - could have organized volunteers to eliminate any need for companies like VA Research and Red Hat. Rather than let this happen, "Open Source" was invented (and the OSI chartered), as a kind of "hostile rebranding".
Thomas Lord over on LtU: