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Attached is a Feature and alternatively a Rules export that copies taxonomy any terms from a story node to a referenced node.
The example was inspired by a discussion in the Rules group.
* The function is put in a rule set, to make it more flexible (and callable from other parts of Drupal). The rule set takes the source node as argument.
* The rule set is in the example called by a rule, triggering on node save (for stories only). It could also be called from Views Bulk Operations or, say, Rules Scheduler.
* The rule set copies any taxonomy terms, regardless of vocabularies. To make it vocabulary sensitive, you'll have to add a condition in the PHP code that copies the terms.
* Yeah, PHP code. Sorry about that. The modify taxonomy terms action didn't take any tokens, so PHP it was. It also turned out that the action didn't take PHP, so it is all wrapped in a "Execute arbitrary PHP code" action. I use it as last resort, and it seemed necessary here. (Please let me know if you have another solution!)
Good luck! Please post questions in the Rules discussion group.
//Johan Falk, NodeOne, Sweden