The US Geographical Survey is a branch of the federal US government that, amongst others, produces maps. Since these are published by the federal government, the maps are in the public domain. But according to Jared Benedict, the USGS is not playing fair. It is asking lots of money for these maps, in effect holding them ransom and breaching the contract the American people has with its government through its constitution.
Jared wants in on the action. And so he bought a set of USGS maps and promised to set them free, provided a ransom was paid to cover his costs. Apparently, this first set (Oregon) is now paid in full and on its way to the Internet Archive.
(Via Kilo Seven.)