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Editing in article names and dates for reference,
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How old is the use of "steal" for non-rival goods?

Preliminary Information

In the debate on copyright, there is a long-time discussion on the appropriateness of the word steal to refer to "make a copy of a non-rival good".

See the Jaunuary 11th 2012 article How Much Does File Sharing Resemble Stealing—and Does it Matter? written by Megan Mecardle for The Atlantic, or the November 4th 2011 essay Piracy is NOT Theft written by Earnesto for Torrent Freak for instances of the debate.

For those of you who do not know what a non-rival good is, Wikipedia1 explains that in economics:

[N]on-rival goods may be consumed by one consumer without preventing simultaneous consumption by others. Most examples of non-rival goods are intangible. Broadcast television is an example of a non-rival good; when a consumer turns on a TV set, this does not prevent the TV in another consumer's house from working.

The Actual Question

How old is the usage of the word "steal" in English with the aforementioned meaning? Is it something that was widespread at the time of Shakespeare or Dickens, or is it mostly modern usage? If so, which is the earliest use of the term?


1This excerpt was taken Rivalry (economics), licensed under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 terms.