Are you a criminal if you share music?

According to Wired in this article, Congress would like to make it a crime to share music. Shouldn’t it also be a crime to share books too then, or at least to photocopy them? Isn’t that what copyright is for? That requires the owner to prosecute, and if you donate enough in campaign contributions then I guess the government will take care of it for you.

Of course it isn’t right to share copyrighted works. However, it is interesting to note that cable television wouldn’t exist today if it weren’t for the theft of copyrighted materials. Just think – no Sex in the City, no Sopranos – if someone hadn’t stolen network television programs and “shared” them. Why wasn’t that illegal?