Michael R. Freeman , Dec 15, 2009; 12:03 p.m.
Firstly, why do they do this ?
Who knows, since anyone with a valid serial number for any Nikon product can download a printable version. And it's fairly easy to obtain said s/n, even if you don't own any Nikon products. But their* reasoning is "To protect against copyright infringement, all user manuals published since August 2008 are non-printable."
(*Nikon Europe site)
All it really serves to do is REALLY ANNOY potential customers, as anyone intent on copyright infringement (and we all know there is a flourishing black market in instruction manuals for currently available cameras) can easily circumvent the restriction.