The creators of Open Dental have realized that only way out of vendor locking you down is to use open source software. Because anyone has the freedom to support, modify, change and further develop the software, or to make improvements to it and even to resell it.
By releasing the software under GPL Open Dental will always belong to the entire dental community.
Who is responsible for this disruptive wave in the dental industry?
Dr. Jordan Sparks has done most of the programming. He has done the many thousands of hours of programming in his spare time over the last few years. But since the software is now becoming so popular, he is beginning to cut back on dentistry to devote more of his time to programming. You can expect the pace of new features to only increase as time goes by. Also what I noticed in the forums that Dr. Jordan Sparks has hired paid programmers to do work with him.
This is what the site has to say about being open source and being nder GPL;
"What is Open Source software?
It means that the source code, the original text of the program, is available for anyone to download. Any programmer with a moderate level of skill can turn this source code into a fully functional version of the program. Open Dental is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), the standard open source license. This license ensures that the software will always remain free and nobody can take away your freedom to use it. Open Dental is Copyrighted by Dr Jordan Sparks to prevent anyone from turning it into a proprietary system. Anyone is free to copy, distribute, and change the software, or to do whatever they want with it and they don't have to tell anyone as long as the copyright notice and license remains attached.
How much does it cost ?
The GPL license does permit and encourage charging for distribution and support. See the support and fees section for prices. But, as with all truly free software, users don't actually have to pay the distribution fee or support fee in order to use the software. You could just make a free copy from a friend and be completely within your rights. You can also have an unlimited number of copies running on computers at your office without any licensing restrictions or dongles (hardware-enforced limits on the number of copies of a program)."
Open Dental by Dr. Jordan Sparks