Originally Posted by PhiladelphiaSEO
Duplicate content only effects a site if you have the same content on the same domain.
In regards to being penalized I agree, however, in the sense of SERPS, I think there is usually considered an "original", and the rest is duplicate.
Now this may have changed, but when I ran my business selling board games a few years ago, a new product would come out, and within 3 months there would be about 200 sites all posting the manufactures supplied web copy. Specific enough to tell that the content is essentially the same (selling Apples to Apples game for example). What I learned over time is that your best benefit in this situation is to be an authority site / very large site with lots of clout. Since this is not the case for most of us here, the next best thing is to be the FIRST site google indexes with that content set. I would bug my vendors for copy when a new product was coming, and often put my copy up before the manufacture got it up on their site. This was extremely helpful to me to gain early first rankings for product titles, and usually stay in top 5, when competing against amazon, target, and hundreds of smaller (but bigger than me) competitors.
Not sure if this applies to you, but I can tell you that Google does seem to favor first to market (indexed) and domain age when sorting between different domains with essentially the same content. Hope this helps.