The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) said yesterday (Sept. 29) it has negotiated out-of-court settlements with 64 individuals accused of file-sharing...

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) said yesterday (Sept. 29) it has negotiated out-of-court settlements with 64 individuals accused of file-sharing, three weeks after the trade group revealed that it had filed copyright-infringement lawsuits against 261 users of peer-to-peer networks.

Of the settlements, 52 represent individuals sued earlier this month, while the remaining 12 were "pre-litigation": individuals who had not been sued but were identified as significant infringers and whose personal information was subpoenaed from their Internet service providers.

Additionally, the RIAA says it has received 838 affidavits for its "Clean Slate" program, which encourages peer-to-peer service (P2P) users to voluntarily submit pledges to stop illegally sharing digital music files in exchange for amnesty from RIAA-supported litigation.

"We are heartened by the response we have seen so far," RIAA president Cary Sherman says in a statement. The news precedes a hearing scheduled for tomorrow morning before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations about the RIAA's subpoena process and how P2P technology has affected the entertainment industry.

The list of witnesses covers a broad range of interests. Musician/actor LL Cool J will testify alongside RIAA chairman Mitch Bainwol and Motion Picture Association of America president Jack Valenti in support of the entertainment industry's lawsuits. Public Enemy frontman Chuck D will take the opposite side of the issue, pushing for business models that would include the use of legal file-sharing. Alan Morris, VP of KaZaA parent Sharman Networks Ltd., and Lorraine Sullivan, a recipient of an RIAA subpoena, are also among the 11 witnesses scheduled for the hearing.