You see this a lot in the publishing world, where you have the same article published on hundreds of web sites. Normally it is from a news source like AP, where they send out the feed, third party publishers fetch it and then post it on their site. Google literally finds the same article, same exact content, from hundreds of web sites.
Aaseesh from Google told a webmaster who operates a financial web site that his idea about "fetching" news from Reuters and then posting it on his site is not the best idea. Aaseesh wrote:
Doing that may not provide much value to users since he can find the content on the source site itself. Think of what value you can provide to users on your site and start from there. Here's some guidance to get you going: http://ift.tt/24Px9zP.
Yep, he is linking to the Panda post from 2011 - interestingly enough.
"Everyone is doing it" is what you are all thinking. Yep, but still, do all 500 publications posting that same story rank number one for that story in Google? Nope, only one can rank number one, the 499 others do not.
Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.