It looks like Cisco is trying to crack down on illegal distribution of their software. I can't really blame them since it's their property.
A while back, I went to download an IOS image for the 3600 to solve a BGP problem we were having in GNS3. I got an interesting message during the download procedure that said something to the effect of "you don't have support on that guy, but we'll let you download it for now." It wass the first time I'd seen that, and, instead of tempting the gods, I just found an older version I had archived. This isn't the only evidence out there showing that Cisco is clamping down, though.
Earlier this month, I saw a Jeremy followed with some further information on it.
Another bit of evidence came from the Packet Pushers Podcast this week. Jennifer Huber (@jenniferlucille), a wireless contractor, said that she could no longer download any software from Cisco. Since she is a contractor, none of the gear she supports is owned by her company, so she has no entitlements. Bummer.
If Cisco actually does restrict downloads as such, it will wreak havoc on dynamips/dynagen/GNS3. Traditionally, Cisco has looked the other way or simply ignored the fact that users were downloading IOS images for gear on which they didn't have support, but that's all bound to change. While one sin is no worse than another, there's a difference in my mind between downloading code from Cisco's site without an entitlement and finding the same on a bit torrent site. Before you know it, torrents may be the only way to get IOS images for routers supported on the emulators.
download spiders questions my way.