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No reasonable person is going to hate him for using ordinary colloquial English. In ordinary English, we can "steal" many things besides tangible property.

If your friend convinces your girlfriend to leave you for him, it is common to say he "stole" her from you.

A sports team that wins from behind at the last minute against a supposedly better team is often said to have "stolen" the game.

If a restaurant owner paid a waiter at another restaurant to spy on the kitchen to figure out a sauce recipe, and then put that sauce on his menu, many would say the recipe was "stolen" [1].

Falling in love is often described as having your heart "stolen".

If someone bugs your office and hears you practicing your pitch for a startup incubator, and then they apply and pitch your idea before you, using the points from your pitch, most would say he "stole" your idea and your pitch.

[1] This may not be such a good example, because the recipe could be a trade secret, and "theft" might then be legally correct usage instead of just colloquial usage since misappropriating trade secrets is actually called "theft of trade secrets" in some jurisdictions. For instance, see 18 USC 1832, "Theft of Trade Secrets" [2].

[2] http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1832




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