As for the governance and fragmentation discussion of free vs proprietary, in this case it’s about a protocol, and they have to be open, regardless of how the software is managed, otherwise it’s not much of a protocol – then it’s just the internal details of a black box.
Open protocols will run into politics and governance issues. The trick is to see them and have governance that works. The Bitcoin community is at a point now where they are forced to find a resolution mechanism. The BIP 101 people have suggested one, but it seems to not have been well received by others.
As for the software, proprietary software is usually managed by a clear hierarchy, but free software can too. As Mike Hearn insists, lots of projects have a benevolent dictator. But free software can also be run by democratic or other cooperative structures, which may make things muddier, but depending on the circumstances may also be the key to longevity. If a strong hierarchy, corporate or voluntary, falls, it can be the doom of a community, whereas a more diverse structure may be more resilient.