I also had the goal that the release of the SRD would ensure that D&D in a format that I felt was true to its legacy could never be removed from the market by capricious decisions by its owners.I can attest to the fact that this particular rationale is not an ex post facto justification on the part of Dancey. I very distinctly recall his having used words very similar to this back in 1999-2000, during the run-up to the release of D&D III (and I'm sure those more Internet savvy than I can dig up the quotes in question). Likewise, the history of the last few years shows that the combination of the SRD and OGL did in fact help to ensure that "D&D in a format ... true to its legacy" would survive "capricious decisions by its owners."
I won't go so far as to say that we'd never have seen retro-clones/simulacra without the SRD and OGL, but, without them, the process of creating them would undoubtedly have been more difficult, both creatively and legally. I've frankly never understood the belief that the SRD and OGL were mistakes on the part of WotC. To my mind, they're probably the company's greatest contribution to the hobby, which is why, despite my disinterest in D&D IV and the burnout I experienced with its predecessor, I still feel indebted to the company -- and to Ryan Dancey, who, in the words of Lisa Stevens, CEO of Paizo, "champion[ed] [them] through the halls of WotC when all of us thought that you were insane."
Thanks, Mr Dancey. The old school renaissance owes you a lot.