There are some blog sites which go with names critics. Bloggers usually blog on certain topics on their own blogs and to get extra traffic post their content as is on these other blogs. This is surely duplicating the content and should in theory hurt the websites which are allowing duplicated content and should also the hurt the original content owner.
Will google punish such sites? They are also popularly know as social networking sites. Some of them write 2-4 lines on certain topic and link several other topics which are related to their few lines of text. This is like blogging about blogs. Surely these sites have nothing in special but a way to increase the content on their own websites. They don't offer anything special except that this helps visitors to visit several other blogs.
Sara, take for example some sites where they ask users to add news links. Most of such sites also allow writing small descriptions. These descriptions are nothing but first lines of what that link content has. This kind of content is clearly not needed and may even make the search engines confused.
Some sites actually allow to post the entire blog content in their site.
The ability to do this is not spam, it's part of the social neworking thing. Look at all your local news sites. A popular news story comes up and every local news site in your area will cover it. If it's a big enough story it will keep on spreading.
How much news you can cover in a given time period may lead to spamming if your site covers 1,000s of new topics everyday and your site is about what and owned by who?