It seems that the RIAA has found that launching John Doe style lawsuits hasn't actually been as effective as they first thought and it is costing them much more than they are bringing in. As a result they are trying a mafia style tactic with ISP's. If the ISP will turn in their own customers then the RIAA will give the "guilty" customer a couple thousand dollar "discount" on their fine.
However, in order to be part of this elite group of ISP's who can turn their own customers in for discounts the ISP's must retain their logs for 180 days. Now besides the fact that this is the mafia method, the RIAA wants ISP's to stop giving out the identity of the wrong John Doe's when the RIAA comes subpoenaing.
Now, heaven forbid ISP's turn in their own customers lest they fear a public outcry and why do they actually have to turn over 100% accurate data. The ISP's are complying with the RIAA and giving their best effort.
I guess the RIAA sees the downward spiral coming and is trying to run away as fast as they can while still making boatloads of money.
Links of Interest:
Recording Industry vs. The People Blog