I read a question today at the Warrior Forum on duplicate content. They wanted to know if having the same description, for a book they were selling on Amazon, on their landing page would hurt them with Google.
Almost every answer was yes.
Many people went into detail why and it is a good read if you want to check them out.
The bottom line on duplicate content of any kind is do not use it. Re-work it and make it original.
My writing company used to re-write product descriptions by the hundreds for customers. They knew that if they wanted to rank on Google for the products they were selling the product descriptions had to be unique.
Google is not going to rank someone for content that is already online somewhere else. Especially if they already have it ranked in their organic results for another site.
Keep this in mind for any content you do.
Make your content 100% unique from anything else already online.
How do you know?
Check it on Copyscape.
Get a premium account and use it to verify that your content is original. If it is not when you run the content through Copyscape the parts that are not original will be highlighted. You can then make changes before you make the mistake and publish it on your own site!