Why shouldn't Trails.com charge a subscription fee for use of this service? If you have something of value, shouldn't you charge a fair market price for it? A company can't stay in business if it gives its product away for free. That is undoubtedly why Topozone.com had to sell its company to Trails.com.
Nothing in the world is free. By the way, the subscription fee is only $49.95 per year. I pay more than that to fill up the tank of my SUV with gasoline.
If demand exceeds supply, then the price of the product will go up until the demand matches supply. That's basic Economics 101. If you had your own business providing goods or services, would you give your goods or services away for free?
I just signed up for my subscription. It seems like the maps are of better quality than before.