It's generally well-known that many of Shakespeare's dramas were "inspired" by, "plagiarised" from or otherwise "copies" of existing works. I use these terms advisedly because, of course, Shakespeare put his unique, insightful and lyrical spin on them to make them the plays that have resonated down the centuries.
Nevertheless, the fact remains that a lot of his plots were borrowed from other works. Hamlet came from the "ur-Hamlet", Othello from El Capitano Moro. According to Wikipedia, The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, All's Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure, and Romeo and Juliet are all from Italian novelle.
It's noteworthy that many of these stories are actually themselves based on older stories, in some cases dating back to antiquity: Romeo and Juliet has similarities with a tale from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Nor was Shakespeare alone in doing this: Marlowe based Dido, Queen of Carthage on parts of the Aeneid, and the result has many similarities to Romeo and Juliet.
In the modern era, such wholesale recycling of older and contemporary texts would likely be frowned upon and torn apart by critics. Yet in Shakespeare's day, it was seemingly common and accepted by audiences. My question is: what was the cultural attitude towards plagiarism in the Elizabethan era, why was it accepted and when and why did it change toward the more modern attitude?