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The Duplicate tool on the Modify tab of the shelf has two functions:
At the scene level, clicking the tool creates a duplicate of the currently selected object.
At the geometry level, the tool creates a Duplicate node which can create one or more duplicates of the selected polygons/points/etc. and optionally apply progressive transformations to each copy.
See the help for the Duplicate shelf tool.
The Copy node usually copies source geometry onto the points of another piece of geometry. However, if you don’t connect the second input (the points to copy the source geometry onto), the Copy node can act like the Duplicate node.