Annoying Anti-Piracy for Book from Manning

I bought Zend Framework in Action yesterday because the short tutorial isn’t quite enough to know how to architect an big application. I’m building an enterprise app at work for a client and picked ZF and YUI as core platforms. I’m pleased with the content of the book. Rob Allen is a fine writer and the organization of the text is logical.

Now that I’m about 80 pages into the book, I thought I’d grab a copy of the PDF version for easy reference whichever desk I’m sitting at.  The print edition comes with a “free” ebook. There are two ways to get this free ebook.

The way they want you to do it is as follows.

  1. Cut open a folded paper in the front of the book.
  2. Go to the URL printed on the paper.
  3. Type in a code they ask you for out of 9×20 grid.
  4. Type in another code from the grid.
  5. Type in your name and email address.
  6. Wait for the email to arrive.
  7. Find the email in your spam folder.
  8. Click on a link to start the download.
  9. Rename the file from “gi” (wtf?) to something rational, such as “Zend_Framework_In_Action.pdf”.

However, you could do the following.

  1. Enter “zend framework in action pdf” into Google Search.
  2. Click to some blog.
  3. Click the link into RapidShare.
  4. Wait for your 30 seconds to expire since you are a “free” user.
  5. Download the .rar file.
  6. Expand whatever’s in the rar file. (I didn’t actually go this far).

Typing in codes from a grid is pretty annoying. I threw down $45 to get the book. Maybe they should just trust me and print a direct download link inside the text of the book. After all, we’re all only a couple of links away from downloading it from RapidShare. What would have been really cool was if I could have downloaded the PDF for free first and then bought the print version when I decided that the book was of great value. I had that exact experience with another author recently.

If you are going to buy Zend Framework in Action (and you aren’t in a rush like I was), you might use the Amazon.com link above. It’s a lot cheaper than buying it off the shelf at B&N.

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