I am currently analysing a site that has recently injected a ton of text into the footer - hundreds of words! I am personally a fan of adding "emergency links" in my footers to increase onsite optimisation and make sure a maximum number of pages can be accessed from each page / increasing internal linking. It got me thinking if duplicate content penalties would apply here? I am unsure if there is an SEO benefit from what they have done. My gut instinct is there is too much text and if it was included as main content they could face penatlies. How the the search engines view footers / do they view them differently to different div tags etc.? I believe the text injection has helped their SERPs as they have jumped approx. 4 pages but they were guilty of severely overusing images rather than text. So would probably rank much better for increasing the amount of text on their site.