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If this is not possible, then I plan to rewrite them.
This is o.k. with the copyright holders, as long as I credit them.
Do I need to bother?
If so, then what degree of adaptation is neccessary to avoid penalties?
From my perspective all I care is if a particular web-site has my info on it. I had few people re-writing my articles, to avoid duplicate content, and those re-writers were really close to my original article, so in many cases I had to file DMCA complaints with google. I was able to remove majority of the articles with DMCA, there were some that were really good rewrites.
So my suggestion is if you know how to rewrite than go for it. Just make sure those re-writes will sound different.
Could someone please clarify, what is considered duplicate content.
I can't seem to find out on the google site.