Mitch Bainwol, chairman/CEO of the RIAA, will be the record-industry witness at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today (July 22) on the so-called Induce bill.

Mitch Bainwol, chairman/CEO of the RIAA, will be the record-industry witness at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today (July 22) on the so-called Induce bill.

The legislation, S. 2560, introduced in the Senate on June 22, would allow artists and labels to sue peer-to-peer companies that profit from encouraging minors and others to commit copyright infringement.

Bainwol's support testimony comes on the heels of the July 20 copyright-infringement lawsuit settlement with P2P company iMesh, in which the P2P firm has agreed to settle claims with RIAA record companies for $4.1 million and migrate to an online business that abides by U.S. copyright laws.

The Induce act, authored by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, and co-sponsored by five Republican and Democrat leaders, states that whoever "intentionally induces" or "intentionally aids, abets, counsels or procures" any violation of copyright "shall be liable as an infringer." Members of the consumer electronics and Internet communities oppose the bill, saying it would snare innocent parties and stifle innovation.

Also testifying in support of the bill will be Marybeth Peters, register of copyrights at the U.S. Copyright Office, and Robert Holleyman, president/CEO of the Business Software Alliance.

Witnesses opposing the bill will be Gary Shapiro, president/CEO of the Consumer Electronics Assn., and Kevin McGuiness, executive director and general counsel, NetCoalition.

Andrew Greenberg, vice-chairman, Intellectual Property Committee, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, is expected to testify that the the group supports the concept of the measure, but not its current language.

A spokesman in the office of Michigan democractic Senator Debbie Stabenow has confirmed that the lawmaker has signed on as an additional co-sponsor. Stabenow does not sit on the Judiciary Committee, but the spokesman says she is interested in music and copyright issues "because she worked her way through college as a folk singer."

The Recording Academy chapter in Atlanta, Ga. has initiated a letter-writing campaign to get Georgia republican Senator Saxby Chambliss to become a co-sponsor of the measure. Chambliss sits on the Judiciary Committee.

Also, a new 23-member coalition, Music United for Strong Internet Copyright (MUSIC), has sent a letter to the committee supporting the bill. The MUSIC coalition includes additional artist-and-songwriter-related organizations such as ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, NMPA, the Songwriters Guild of America and the Music Managers Forum-USA.