smithaa02 - 2:50 pm on Nov 15, 2012 (gmt 0)
I've had this with one of my sites as well. As soon as it was penalized, exact phrase searches did horribly against blatent scrapers.
I believe this has more to do with the penalty knocking you down as opposed to the scrapers doing so well in the SERP's.
Google's 'unique content awarder' is a complete mess regardless though and there was a great article on searchengineland.com on how it can be manipulated. What's scary with google unique content system is that it is all a secret trial/conviction/punishment done by a computer and it is difficult to know if you've been punished and you have no recourse. In many cases it is not practical for google to know if you are pirating information...for example a local business submits an event to our site and our competitors. It's the same copy and this it is honest good PR, yet one of his will probably get dinged in some fashion for duplicate content.