I think you're giving way too much credit to the FSF. For example, Larry Wall had never heard of the FSF or the GNU project when he first released Perl as free software. And many of the most important free software programs--Apache, BIND, even the implementation of the TCP/IP protocol that everyone, including Microsoft, based their internet software on--came out of the BSD project, which again, had roots that preceded the FSF and the GNU manifesto. Much of the original Unix development was collaborative, between individuals, universities, and research labs. Not open source by license, but open source by development practice and community dynamics.
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