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We'd like to think that Google can accurately assign the "original author" of a bit of content - but sometimes they still seem to get it wrong. I'm not sure yet where their error come from exactly. It may well be a combination of their freshness algorithm and their desire to serve more popular sites higher in the results - just my guess
Copied content used to have a strong negative effect. But last year Google made some changes that appear to have corrected that.
do you mean that Google is doing content attribution correctly since last year?
But the negative effect used to be on the copier or the copied site?