Four years after it shuttered the original Napster with a legal assault, the recording industry is taking a different approach to online file-swapping: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
"There's only two options here," said Michael Goodman, an analyst at The Yankee Group market research firm. "You either license it and you find a way to license it and monetize it or you don't license it and it gets traded anyway."

Some 330 million tracks were purchased online last year from online stores such as Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes. But around 5 billion were downloaded from free file-sharing networks, he said.