[bbc] The music industry would be in better shape now if it had engaged with Napster rather than fought it.
So says Geoff Taylor, head of music industry body BPI, in a column written for the BBC.
In the column, Mr Taylor expressed "regret" that the music industry did not move faster to work out how to use the net to promote and sell records.
But, he said, many sites that have come in the wake of Napster pose a threat because they are populated by pirates.
Mr Taylor said it was "probably true" that the music industry would be better prepared in 2009 if it had worked with Napster instead of taking the service to the courts.
"I, for one, regret that we weren't faster in figuring out how to create a sustainable model for music on the internet," wrote Mr Taylor.
He added that the music industry in 1999, when Napster debuted, would have struggled to create that business model because of rights issues, a lack of good copyright protection software and an inability to track downloads so that royalties were properly awarded.
Music industry 'missed' Napster