DanAbbamont - 2:55 pm on Mar 9, 2011 (gmt 0)
It's never been about who published it first, but about how strong your site is. If you can buy a trusted domain or do really good link building, you can easily rank copied content above the original no matter how old it is.
It sounds to me like Google just didn't like your site based on the farmer update. The scraper sites just didn't take a hit so now they're the ones ranking.
Send a C&D to the web host. That's about all you can do. Google doesn't make it their business to police copyright stuff. It's just not their responsibility, but it is the responsibility of the ISP hosting the copyrighted content to remove it when alerted.