Hearing from webmasters who complain that someone stole their content and the site that stole their content is outranking them is not that uncommon. Scrapers outranking the original source in Google's search results is a common topic.
Google's Gary Illyes addressed the question in a panel at SMX East last Thursday.
He said that if that is happening to you, then your site probably has some other search quality issues. He added that Google is pretty good at figuring out the original source of the content. So if a scraper is ranking above you, then it is likely the original source has search quality issues.
This isn't that uncommon - a site will get a Penguin penalty or have Panda issues and then as soon as it gets hit by the algorithm, all the scraper sites copying it will start to outrank that site for it's own content.
Yes, it makes Google look like they are bad - but that is the rational on why these things happen, Gary explained.
Here is my tweet when Gary said it:
Forum discussion at Twitter.
This post was pre-written and scheduled to be posted today.