Most providers will tell you they do not keep any logs. However, most of the bigger providers will add an encrypted header to any post you make. The NSP can later decrypt the header to see which of their users made the post.
To the best of my knowledge, to date these headers have only been used to nab child pornographers. I've never heard of anyone getting in trouble just for downloading copyrighted works on Usenet. The worst uploading incident I've heard of was years ago when all the members of sd-6 got their Easynews accounts deleted. Granted they were posting non-stop and all using the same NSP. I don't remember any charges being pressed or subpenas being issued.
From what I've seen from the major Usenet providers' privacy policies, downloads are almost always never logged -- connections, maybe, but not downloads. Posts and uploads, however, are logged in order to crack down on spam complaints.
In my opinion, this is an unfortunate side effect of the "growth at all costs" economic policy of China. Money becomes the only thing that matters -- IP, the environment, even the health of citizens is second-class. As China further develops, we will hopefully see attitudes change. I don't believe you see this level of theft/piracy in more mature economies like Singapore or Taiwan (not China, but similar in that they are ethnically majority Chinese).
DISCLAIMER: I did not intend to write such a long response, but got carried away. The intention is not to disparage China in any way, but to frame the issue as an economic incentives problem, rather than pointing fingers.
One issue I have heard from individuals much more familiar with the current Chinese culture than myself, is that the cultural revolution (communist legacy if you will), really disassociated the modern mainland culture from its roots and what you see if the "off-shoots", like Taiwan and Singapore.
The ethics, asporations, priorities, etc. that a person has, are all influenced by their surroundings and the culture that the family/environment holds. I saw this all too well in Russia in the 90s. The "anything for a buck" mentality is the core issue. In US/Western-derived cultures, as well as Singapore/Taiwan, you see boundaries put in place to restrain some this capitalistic drive. For example, in the old days, a man's word, was as good as a contract written on paper. You see this in many historic documents, such as British common law and it's influence on US legal system.
When the "anything for a buck" mentality sets in, your word is no longer that valuable. So naturally, you shift to other value-driving things, such as acquisition of monetary instruments and other "stuff". Means of said acquisition take second seat to acquisition itself. The apps in this case are the other "stuff" being acquired. How they are being acquired are irrelevant, so people doing the acquiring are taking the route of least resistance.
But this is not a China problem. Anyone remember the US financial crisis? Same basic problem - it was easy for consumers to consume beyond their means, and it made sales people richer. For a while, seemed like a win-win, until people needed to pay-up that is.
All of this is incentives problem. In US for example, you have much more incentive to "play nice" with the system, than going against it. For example, it's much more convenient for me to just buy the app. That "convenience" comes from a mix of ethical convictions and the fact that pirating takes time, which I am unwilling to invest, even IF I was ok with it, which I am not ok with stealing. From the economic view, the cost of stealing the app is much greater for me than someone else, so I make the rational choice of buying it and consuming for less.
This is great. It seems people have blinders on and are only outraged to see stealing and copying when it happens in China. It fits a stereotype. But when Zynga copies a game or somebody is downloading a torrent - not so much outrage, unless you're the MPAA or RIAA.
If the subject interests you, I'd recommend it since I've personally found it difficult to find detailed information about side projects. I purchased it partly for the information, but also to hopefully motivate myself to pursue some projects I've been thinking about. I do feel like $25 is a lot for any book, let alone a relatively short PDF file, but I understand there's a limited market.
Somewhat off-topic, but I'd like an explanation for why startups are requiring facebook in order to sign up for a service? I'd love to try turntable.fm (as well as rolling.fm, and mixapp.com), but I'm not on facebook nor do I ever plan to be.
Is there some advantage to doing this that I'm not seeing? I understand the appeal of a limited beta and exclusivity, but I would think it would be to their advantage to offer multiple ways to sign up.
1) Its some extra work for what is likely a tiny portion of their target user demographic (note: this isn't the demographic that would use a normal signup if it was an option as supposed to facebook connect, just the ones that won't use it at all if it isn't)
2) They get nice benefits of forcing people to use facebook auth, eg friend lists within the app. Turntable knows all of my friends who use the service, and can show me rooms that they are using. If there was an alternate non-facebook signon that I had used instead, this wouldn't work out
3) The signup is probably more frictionless for users, many of whom are fickle and might not sign up if it seems like a lot of work. I say probably because I don't have experience with tracking conversion rates or anything here-this is just a guess
Many people don't want to give out another e-mail or another password to yet another site. Given the Gawker and other leaked account debacles, many people use the same login/authentication across web services. By using my Facebook login, I put more trust in Facebook securing my credentials vs. a startup I barely know anything about. Plus, it saves me tons of time.