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If an SO is duplicated by dragging it in the layers palette to the new layer icon, or by command-j, the duplicate will be linked to the original: edits in one will appear in the other.
If the SO is duplicated by choosing New Smart Oject via Copy in the context menu (control-click on the SO in the layers palette), the new SO is independent of original: edits in one will not be replicated in the other.
Yes, theres two cpmpletely different ways to duplicate Smart Objects. Command J or duplicate layer method which merely creates INSTANCES of the same Smart Object. This has a whole variety of different uses, and means that any edits to the smart object will reflect in all its instances.
To duplicate the CONTENTS of the object, there is only one way to do it and Doug has told you how.
Would be nice if command OPTION J did this as an alternative. And that there was some visual distinction in the layers panel between duplicated objects, objects with linked instances, and seperate objects.