This is very interesting and I came across this problem once before and I believe it may have happened again.
A few years back I had a website selling bluewidgets. I had approximately 3500 items for sale. To increase sales I signed up with a very popular online company in which I would pay 8% commissions on each sale I made on their site.
The problem was that this site would crawl all my inventory from my website and post the identitcal item descriptions for each item on their site that exactly match my item's content description.
Because the other company was the authority domain within a month I lost all my rankings on my domain and this company which borrowed all my descriptions to place on their site was ranking well for all my item descrtiptions.
There was obviously a duplicate content penalty imposed on my site. Soon after I decided to remove all my listings from this popular retail site and within two weeks all my rankings came back.
Now I have what I believe to be a very similar problem this time with ezine articles.
We have an on staff writer who once a week will write articles for a very popular ezine article directory.
Twice in the last month this ezine directory removed all our resource links from the articles and we could not figure out why.
When I looked into this deeper I noticed that our writer was using a paragraph or two (word for word) from our own website and using this as part of the ezine article.
When I ran copy scape on our domain urls, many of the ezine articles were showing the duplicate content that our writer wrote.
The question is, do you believe this is the reason why ezine articles removed our resource links?
Also would this infraction be sever enough to cause a duplicate content penalty?
Finally because this ezine article website is considered the authority domain do you think we lost our rankings in favor of these ezine articles in which we are the originators of?
Thanks in advance for your reply.