Google’s Matt Cutts recently has put out a new video clarifying that those legal and other duplicate contents will not hurt you unless they are of spammy nature filled with keywords etc.

In an answer of a question:

“How does duplicate copy that’s legally required (ie Terms & Conditions across multiple offers) affect performance in search?”

Matt said that if legal contents like (disclaimers, terms and conditions) are filled with keyword stuffing or does not adhere to Google quality guidelines, there may be a manual or algorithm actions, otherwise there is not need to worry about those legal and other contents.

Here as CWSUK, duplicate contents or freshness have been bigger concern due to panda or penguin algorithm and same will be taken care even after these recent clarifications by Matt.

As we know that duplicate contents are not a penalty, rather Google is more concerned on which page he should rank or which one to left, so you should also be aware that having a fresh and unique content will have benefit of higher ranking in search engine results.

So the things remain the same, if there is no penalty for duplicate contents, than there is also no ranking (or low ranking) for them as well. So how Google determines which contents he should rank and which not, few days ago, in an interview with Eric, Matt clarified few points about originality of contents, matt asked to add“rel=canonical” to describe as you the original author.

“So if you are also publishing the contents on your site, you want to try and do these mechanical things so you are still seen as the original author.”

By doing these, you are giving strong signal to Google that you are the one who wrote content in the first place.