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However, if you goal is to build inbound links, don't worry about it. The "penalty" is only in SERPs, not on value passed by the link.
1. It hardly takes a few minutes to rewrite an article. Just add a few paras and delete some. Change the title and keywords. Rewrite the first and last paragraphs.
2. Submit them to various directories. They'd all be considered as different by the search engines.
3. The search engines know that it is not possible for webmasters to have 100% unique content all the time. If you write about a subject the chances are there's already another article based on it.
Hope it helps