The problem that college CIO's (and CTO's) are describing are, as the "exasperation" article suggests, very much of their own making, but the article, and most likely the information officers themselves, is misstating the origin of the problem, and that may be complicating their legal responses.
The fundamental problem is that colleges have been hiring the wrong people into CIO/CTO positions and giving them the wrong mission. College CIO's fundamental job is to provide reliable information services on a limited (often far too limited) budget. People are hired into these positions for their willingness and ability to reduce costs while maintaining security and a high quality of service on the campus. In my experience (and I have had a number of them), they are perfectly willing to sacrifice the educational mission of the college and the freedom of educators to accomplish that mission if it will save a few dollars.
In the early part of this decade the RIAA's tactics worked perfectly with the goal of cost control. Large music and video downloads were overwhelming campus gateways and forcing ever larger expenditures on maintaining them. Blocking the ports most commonly used for music and video downloads was an easy solution to this cost problem, so the RIAA provided an excuse for cutting costs. A series of RIAA initiatives that played to CIO cost cutting and revenue enhancement were all easy to adopt.
The take down notices were another story. CIO complaints about having to devote personnel to this task started immediately, and it is getting worse as the costs grow. Legal costs are particularly problematic, especially if they get billed to the CIO's budget. With the costs of RIAA enforcement spinning rapidly out of control, CIO's are caught in a difficult trap of their own devising, and complaining that costs are an issue now will not impress judges who see a precedent in prior complience with RIAA demands.
The only way out of this mess is for colleges to do exactly what one of the judges suggested: to execute take downs without an investigation such that a student can sue the university and the RIAA for a abrogation of their rights, preferably as a class action. The universities could potentially then join the students in suing the RIAA, arguing that the RIAA forced them to abandon due process at the insistence of the courts, largely because Universities can't afford to do the RIAA's investigations for them, but RIAA evidence is often weak and inconsistent.
I don't know if this can be done (the details of this are a lawyers job to sort out), but I doubt that AG's are going to be able to help much given the precedents that colleges have alredy set for the wrong reasons. An avalanche of investigations forced on the courts might lead the courts to start to set the standards of evidence that the RIAA has to meet before filing a take down to begin with.
The real problem is that no such standard currently exists.
The other solution, of course, is legislation. LOL.