Jill Whalen (whose birthday is today -- wish her a happy one!) wrote a very logical article at High Rankings about the problem of SEO plagiarism. She explains that numerous not-so-established SEO types are regurgitating a lot of articles online and just switching up a few words, probably so that they can look smart. It's not so much the same as copyright infringement because of the fact that it's not a word-for-word regurgitation; instead, content is made to look original by making a few edits and calling it a day.
Jill ends her post by saying that the people who will succeed at writing articles (in the SEO world, but this is really true for any discipline) are those who can think for themselves and put their own original thoughts into writing. It's not about finding news somewhere else and then saying, "Oh, I can write this too and have my friends vote upon my content on Sphinn," which she alludes to in the article. (A few people have done that in the past.)
Jill is not sure whether to fault the education system for this behavior, but High Rankings Forums member Orpheus Descending actually does feel that this has something to do with lack of education in some areas. She explains that when working with students in a college level, 30% of a class of 70 were caught plagiarizing, and it was because they didn't know better. The internet makes it easier to do but not to think. And most of these people are ignorant.