Sunday, January 29, 2017

It's not okay to plagiarize my work! (Updated and updated)

It has come to my attention that a woman named Marlene Daniels of Soapconscious has been copying and pasting my writing from this blog and my e-books and re-selling them under her name.

I figure about 80% of her lipsticks e-book is based on my blog, and it looks like she is using my comparison charts about oils in just about any e-book in which she mentions them.

Upon further review, it looks like most of her e-books are copied and pasted from someone else's work, like Perry Romanowski of Chemists' Corner.  She has some recipes that are clearly mine, and she is selling recipe books like "504 body care recipes" and calling them compilations.

Please don't buy e-books from this person. She is using materials from other people to teach classes and write e-books and this isn't okay. She is making money from the kindness of those who offer information on-line, and she is claiming our hard work as her own. She is taking money from my youth programs by cutting and pasting from the e-books I have written to raise money for them.

If you have purchased an e-book from her, and you see something you think may be mine, could you send me a screen cap image of the writing? I'd be so grateful to you for this. (Please don't send me the e-book aa I previously requested. I'd hate to be accused of breaching copyright for what she might have written. An image is allowed.) 

And I guess I have to say this here - it isn't okay to use my writing without my permission to make money for yourself. Please don't use my charts, blog posts, or e-books without permission in your e-books, e-zines, classes, podcasts, and so on without asking if this is okay. Please don't copy my work or link directly to a chart. I don't make money from this blog, and I don't think it's fair that someone else thinks they can.

Please spread this information far and wide. If you have ever written anything on line, written a blog or an e-book, or shared a recipe, check out the tables of contents for the e-books she's selling on her site or on eBay to see if your work is there. If you've shared recipes, check out her compilation e-books as there are so many of them and I'm sure you'll recognize something. If you see your work there or recognize the work of others, I encourage you to write to her and let her know she's been caught. I have no idea how long she's been selling these e-books, but it needs to stop now.

I have written to her twice by e-mail, posted on her Facebook page, and Facebook messaged her with not response so far. I will be contacting the colleges at which she teaches her classes as I'm fairly sure I see some of my recipes there, too. I think I can write to eBay and tell them she isn't allowed to sell the things she's selling, but I don't think it'll change much unless we all do it together.

Update: She has responded to me, but she isn't taking responsibility for plagiarizing the material. Thank you to everyone who has been spreading the word on Facebook, Reddit, and other sites, and directly to her. I hope she is getting the idea that we as a community won't stand for making money by taking the work of others! 

If you have any ideas of how we can stop Marlene from selling material that doesn't belong to her, please share with me! Thank you! 

Here's an example from my post on rancidity, then her e-book:

Update: The saga continues. As I review materials by Marlene, I am finding instance after instance of direct copying from someone else's work. I have been writing to those writers, and I hope they will be in contact with her to cease and desist. 

To those of you who wanted more evidence of intellectual property theft by Marlene, I attach the images below for your review from the lipstick e-book. Mine is in green, as usual...

This next passage is interesting because she stole the first part from me, the middle bit might be hers, and the last bit belongs to Full Bloom Apiaries, which appears to have originated at
(First image mine, second image Marlene's e-book, third image from Full Bloom Apiaries.) You'll also note that she copied Full Bloom Apiaries or Ebeehoney's work on her site for the description about using beeswax and in this e-book on making pencils for mineral make-up.

I honestly could go on and on with example after example from the lipstick e-book alone, but I think this is enough evidence for now that Marlene has plagiarized a great deal of what she calls her e-books. As I've been reviewing other materials, I've found evidence of plagiarism by at least ten other people, almost all of whom I've written to as of February 2nd. I will share more as I have their permission to do so.

As this unfolds, I've been alerted to quite a number of other people using my work for their own profit, including a company selling an on-line class using so much of my work that they aren't bright enough to alter to look less like my writing and research. (You would be shocked at how many people have written to tell me about this company!) Believe me when I say that there will be no mercy for the greedy and stupid as I meet with my lawyer tomorrow to plan our course of action.

Another update as of February 6th: Marlene Daniel's Facebook page and website are gone. I found that she was charging $1,000 for a course that was almost completely based on my writing, and I have sent her a demand for that money and for money from other e-books, which I'm sure I will never see. I know one person who paid for this course has been refunded, and I encourage others to make the same request. I will continue to communicate with the colleges at which she teaches courses using plagiarized recipes and materials. Please let me know if you see her selling these e-books again.

On a lighter note, thank you to everyone who has been so kind to show your lovely and wonderful support. I've seen your posts on Facebook. I've seen your subscriptions to Patreon. I've seen your messages and read your e-mails. This experience, as upsetting and frustrating as it has been, has really shown me how much you care about me and my work. I will never have the words to thank you enough for showing me that people are kind and generous and caring and lovely in the face of all this greed and selfishness, but know that I have heard you and thank you so much!

Before I close for the day, let's all enjoy this picture of baby Sasja watching Raymond making something lovely for dinner! Aren't puppies great? They definitely make things seem less stressful, except when they are stealing my socks from the table or the glasses from my face!

Sasja is getting so big! She is almost 6 pounds, up from 3.6 pounds when we adopted her in mid-December! She should be about 8 pounds when full grown. And we start puppy school next week. Or should I say that Raymond and I are starting puppy school next week and she's coming along for the ride! 


Seraa said...

Sorry to hear about this! I'll never understand how some people can do so, so freely. Will be sure to report.

Susan said...

From what I see, this woman is located in Australia. There might not be much you can do without costing yourself a lot of money. I studied copyrights once a long time ago but I can't remember much about it. From now on, you might consider ending all your posts with a written copyright disclaimer. Everything you wrote in previous posts are still protected under copyright but people like Marlene obviously aren't smart enough to understand things like that. She can use some of what you say but there is a strong limit (paragraph or a few sentences, maybe?) and she has to use it as a quote giving you full credit.

You should definitely contact the colleges and eBay and such. The colleges might actually care and confront her. Some people (Marlene) are just jerks who don't care. I totally feel your pain right now!

If you haven't done so already, I would contact Perry and let him know. The more people who contact the college, eBay etc., the more impact you will have against her and hopefully stopping her.

I wouldn't mind contacting the colleges myself and letting them know how concerned and upset I am to find out that she (Marlene) is plagiarizing MY teachers. I have been reading and studying your blog as well as Perry's consistently. I have paid for your written work through an eBook. I have learned a TON from you and Perry, it is not fair for my teachers to be plagiarized for all your hard work!

Cyndi Lu Williams said...

I had a woman actually completely photocopy a book I wrote and resell it on eBay. I turned her into eBay and they booted her. Send her certified a letter letting her know she needs to cease and desist of using your material in any form and that she is committing copyright infringement and if you see any of your work anywhere you will be suing her. Turn her in to any place that she is selling.

Susan said...

My hubby said you might be able to contact the college where she received her credentials in Naturopathy and they may or may not strip her of the diploma. I'm sure you will have to provide plenty of evidence but it seems you have that. Plagiarism is not taken lightly in the world. Contacting the colleges where she has the workshops and wherever she got all her diplomas and certificates might take enough action to at least stop her from making any more money off your hard work.

Nicky said...

Oh I feel awful, I have purchased 5 of her e books and quite a few of her kits

matt said...

Hi, you may want to consider issuing your work with a creative commons license and then you have the possibility of legal action for breach of license conditions. You could claim any profits she makes as a result


Anonymous said...

If I were you, I would contact the lady in a friendly fashion and work out a deal with her. That's generally the best method.

Your work is copyrighted automatically when you post it. There are very strong legal relationships between the Canada (where you reside and publish your ebooks) and Australia and between the US (where you publish online)( and Australia.

Therefore, you are in an extremely strong position. However, most businesses find that working out an amenable deal regarding theft of intellectual property and copyrighted material is the best solution. If those talks breakdown, then legal actions are a viable alternative. But, before you think that the cost of legal action would make that not an option you should realize that there is another way.

Since plagiarism is such a universally opposed transgression you will find that taking that action might be possible without any outlay of funds on your part. Many attorney firms would take this case for a share of the proceeds of the suit.

Alison said...

I do feel bad now too. I have also purchased several of the ebooks and many of her ingredients to use to make cosmetics. Towards the weekend I will definitely go through my e-books and see if there's something that I can find similar to what you have written. She is definitely based in Australia, Sydney in fact. As for how long she has been selling these I would say it's upwards of 10 years, maybe more.

Pepper7 said...

Susan, OMG- it's word for word ! She must know this isn't right. As I stated in a post on FB, this woman is disgusting. No talent of her own, so she steals someone else's hard work to make a profit !
I have posted on her FB page warning others of her deception. I feel awful for you !

Eli (Beauty Blog) said...

This is really infuriating...can you contact Paypal too so they block her in case she's using it to cash for her "work"?

Lise M Andersen said...

Unfortunately this happens a lot and it seems you are a particular favorite to plagiarize. I'm so sorry, Susan. It's ruddy unfair, unethical and absolutely horrid behavior.

Iya Omitade Ifatoosin said...

Susan, this is very unfortunate. As soon as you are able, I would appreciate a post on what specifically we (your readers) can do to voice our concern about this. Who to contact, contact info, etc. That would help me to take the action I can.

Linda Mulhall said...

Send her a cease and desist letter.

From Netsol Whois

Registrant Name: MARLENE DANIELS
Registrant Organization:
Registrant Street: 122 MONS AVENU
Registrant City: MAROUBRA
Registrant State/Province: MI
Registrant Postal Code: 2035
Registrant Country: AU
Registrant Phone: +61.425213444

cmzaha said...

I will post this link on my FB soap forums if it is okay with you. That is just lousy.

KMY said...

Susan - This is terrible! Personally I have never been to her site, thank goodness. I will deseminate this info to several groups/forums I belong to. It never fails...good people doing good work for the benefit of others (i.e. YOU), are taken advantage of. As always you are in my prayers.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

A quick note - please share this far and wide. There are so many people affected by this, and she needs to be called out on it! Thank you all for caring so much.

CC Mirabella said...

I'm so discusted that someone is doing this it makes me sick. I can't imagine how your feeling ...certainly violated. This sincerely upsets me that after all you so freely share with everyone out of your generosity and kindness of heart some has the nerve to steal from you. And then not only stealing from all your hard work she's going to profit !? Disgusting shallow shady I do hope she's stopped in her tracks & punished if possible

Sherra Murphy said...

Wow!!!! I'm a college lecturer, and if a student did something like this I'd affix their benighted backsides to the nearest fencepost. I hope you have some kind of recourse, or at least can out her all over the interwebs.

Unknown said...

Hey Susan,

This is absolutely horrible. So sorry you have to go through this! Ugh, I don't even know what to say to this. This woman is awful, and I am appalled.

It sounds like you are pursuing all the right avenues, and some readers have some excellent ideas for you. You are a very savvy person, so I hope you can put a stop to her. I am a (junior) BC lawyer, though, full disclosure I am not familiar with cease and desist matters. Let me know if I can assist you in researching legal information (for free, I do not work in private practice so this isn't a business plug), as you are so not deserving of this situation. I think you have my direct email from around Christmas time as I was emailing you about gels.


Tonya said...

I went to the site and noticed that she has an unproffessional confussing copyright disclaimer at the bottom of her page... ironic. I didnt look around but if she has slipped somewhere and shown copyright or trademark signs or used any kind of nomiclature that is not hers then it would be easy to turn her in and let an organization with the legal power to do so bring her down.

I did notice right away that she has a fake cruelty free bunny. I am guessing the other logo representations on her site are as fake as everything else. Heres a link to show you the official bunny logos including Austrailia. Maybe we could bring her to the attention of those organizations that she is claiming endorsement from.

Most definately hitting her where it hurts would be the easiest which is to expose her site and get her fired as I think any legit college would do to someone like her. Take away the money in other words. Also contacting the others who have been used and plagerised as you have may give you some collective power to team up as individuals and organizations for a lawsuit.

Anyway, heres the cruelty free bunny link

One last thought, you mentioned once that your blog is protected by google blogger and they have more rights to it than you do-maybe they can fight the fight for you. You are widely respected and loved. I think everyone would be willing to ask them (flood of emails to one person for example), or any organization, to persue this lady.

I have a quote that I love to share about animal rescue, which not only applies to you but the kids you work with (which I think deserve restitution of the dollars that have been taken from their program).

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

I believe you have a good sized group ready to stand with you.

Baby Kat said...

Un-freaking-believable! Send a cease and desist letter or sue this person. Intellectual property is a real thing. Ugh, unethical people suck.

Kath Collard said...

It so disappoints me to see someone behaving in such an unethical and immoral way. As an Australian, it is even more offensive that one of my own has perpetrated this act against you and other skilled and knowledgeable teachers.

I read of the plagiarism yesterday within a fb community so am pleased the message is being spread far and wide. I will endeavour to share this information in the hope it will contribute to the cessation of this woman's scurrilous activities.

Maggie Mahboubian said...

Since she has been profiting from your work you should be entitled to payment which means you can sue her as well as ask for an immediate cease and desist. A letter from a lawyer ought to do the trick.

She should also be publicly outed and shamed, something I'd be happy to do :-)

So sorry you're having to deal with this.

Name Here said...

If she has any of your copied text on her website, you can file a DMCA takedown notice with her web host and they'll take action. You can find the web host contact info if you plug her site address into

I'm sorry this has happened, and I hope you can find a quick resolution soon :(

flowerpower said...

I am very sorry and i am glad you put her name out so we can all be aware of her dirty deeds. you are a wonderful teacher and deserve to be treated with respect.

flowerpower said...

By the way we can make her Facebook famous for the wrong reasons and this way she will never be trusted again the world is small so her shame will be fast.

Anonymous said...

Possibly a good approach is to get the press interested. Plagiarism incidents are certainly the fare which appeals to the public and the media (print and otherwise) needs new stories continuously. A well written press release which gives the facts with appropriate evidence and contact information (complete with photos and back story) along with offers of availability for interviews, This could be presented to perhaps the AP (Associated Press) or UPI (United Press International)as well as the conventional broadcast net works or major newspapers (whose stories get picked up by other services). Such action might get immediate results and widespread publicity. Australian newspapers could be approached directly independently as well. Television shows (like 20/20 or Inside Edition and others) are looking for new tantalizing stories constantly. Nothing is better than the tale of some honest person being fraudulently taken advantage of by someone else in a criminal fashion.

Joanna said...

Open letter to Marlene (also emailed directly to Marlene)

Hello Marlene,

I came to your soap making class in Narrabeen a few years ago and really enjoyed it - I made my first cold processed soap and haven't stopped since then. I also came to your class in Bondi on making natural gifts and had a very good time as well.

In deepening my passion for making natural soaps and other cosmetics, I continued my search for more information and knowledge and found a few reliable and excellent resources that I learn from. To my great upset, I just found out that in your ebooks you're using information from one of these resources - Susan Barclay-Nichols' blog Point of Interest - but without previous authorisation or even making any reference to the source, thus implying that it's your own work. I'd like to ask you to take a look at your actions to see how this is harming Susan and her work. It's important that you revise eBooks that you're selling and make adjustments accordingly. Please, dig deep if you have to, to find your integrity, and to live up to ideals that you write and talk about.

I also encourage you to straighten things out with Susan, as it is very sad to see people who are trying to make the right things for the common good, by offering their time and skills free of charge to others, being taken advantage of. This is simply not right. Susan runs youth programs and proceeds from selling her ebooks fund these programs. I encourage you to donate money to these programs to make up for your unauthorised use of Susan's work.

Marlene, I appeal to you to take immediate action on it, admit to your mistake, as well as publicly apologise to Susan. We all get lost sometimes but I'm sure it's not too late to make appropriate amendments and start the process of rejuvenation, as surely you have some great skills to offer and it would be a shame if your reputation and business suffered irreparable damage.

I am including Susan in this email by posting this open letter on her blog, for readers to see, and I'm prepared to write to the colleges that you offer your courses at, if you don't take immediate action to repair the damage caused. 

As you will be getting a lot of criticism from others, deserved, but probably very harsh sometimes, I wish you strength in facing this challenging situation and I wish you wisdom to know the right thing to do.

Joanna McCormick

Sisay Says said...

sorry to see this. Last year I also saw a website based in the UK offering workshops that, to me seemed copied from Susan's work as well. I tried to find them again but could not.

Angela said...

What an awful situation to be in, and I feel so sorry this has happened to you.

I just checked out the offender's blog, and in about 15 minutes discovered more blatant plagiarism. Her explanation of Copha from the 2/1/15 post? Directly taken from Wikipedia. Soya Lecithin definition? Word-for-word from a blog by the NakedChemist. Her post from 10/5/13 about "Moisturisers Versus Natural Vegetable Oils" appears to take liberties using direct material from Australian Natural Health Magazine, BOE, and Cosmetics, and I only checked about the first 1/3 of that blog post.

The trend I noticed was if proper English syntax and/or a scientific explanation of something was used, the sentence/thought was more likely to be plagiarized.

This appears to be a far-reaching issue, and I can only imagine how frustrating (to say the least) this must be for you and all those whose works have been pilfered. She is advertising several workshops scheduled over the next few months, including a Making Lip Gloss and Lipsticks class. There are links to sign up directly with the community colleges hosting the events. Perhaps each one should be aware she will be teaching plagiarized work.

I wish you all the best and cannot thank you enough for all the incredible information you provide on your blog. You actually make science fun.

Marlene Daniels said...

I am very sorry for all the inconveniences I have caused.
I was very overwhelmed by the situation, I did not know what to do, your messages are helping me in the right direction, so thank you!
I have been in contact with Susan Barclay-Nichols but I did not apologise publicly.
I am writing this message to apologise to Susan publicly and to anyone involved.
I have complied with her requests, I stopped immediately the publications and I erased any content similar to hers and anyone else. I am still in the process of checking and re-examining everything
I bought all Susan's ebooks, the ebooks are a compilation of her blogs, they are full of information and I can recommend to everyone to buy them if you like her blogs.
I used some of Susan’s clever descriptions of cosmetic ingredients, I deeply regret my negligence because I have so much respect for her work. Susan is a great writer and a great teacher, she has the real talent to communicate simply very complicated information.
I understand the criticism, it is well deserved, I understand my mistakes and I have reflected on my actions and I realised I have lost my vision and my mission .
I am working very hard to regain my integrity by using my own skills and focusing on cosmetic natural ingredients and  to live up to ideals that I talk about
(and leave the cosmetic ingredients to the experts like Susan)
Please accept my sincere apologies

Yin said...

Hi Susan,
I am sorry to hear about that. I suggest you to put the copyright statement on all your published contents in web and e-books, with the published year. For example: All rights reserved (c) 2017 Point of Interest

Anonymous said...

I have purchased a number of Susan's books and have been a supporter of her Patreon program since she started it. I am appalled by the plagiarism and I think that deliberate action should be taken to get the Australian offender to "cease and desist" and to make amends.

I have some specific suggestions if they are needed.

I have posted in the past under the moniker "Andy Lee," but this new blogger comment app doesn't permit that, so I used my livejournal id.


Andy Lee

Anonymous said...

I just now read a few posts up and saw that I had missed the recent public statement and apology from the Australian writerm Marlene Daniels. It seems that she is certainly saying all the right things and she sounds quite sincere. So, my previous post is irrelevant, other than to say that I have lots of respect and admiration for Susan Barclay-Nichol's work and I am pleased that this situation seems to be resolved.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I wrote this on January 31st, but didn't post it for some reason...

Hi everyone! Thank you so much for being so generous with your ideas and so supportive of this situation. I am still completely gobsmacked that she has been doing this for ages! I noticed that if you do a search for her site, it comes up with this post on the second page of Google, so it's already having an impact. You have been sharing it on Facebook, Reddit, and on other fora around the 'net, and I thank you all so much! I know at least one other person affected by this - Perry Romanowski - is sending her a cease and desist letter as well. I have also let a few other people who have blogs or write recipes know about this so they can check to see if their work was also used.

I have written to Marlene Daniels directly, and she has responded by saying that she was inspired by my work, but didn't plagiarize it. I think we can see from the example above - and the dozens of other parts of her e-book that she used from me that I'm happy to share - this isn't so. I think she's getting an idea of how upset people are about this matter, but I don't know if anything will change because of it. She claimed she took the lipstick e-book down from her site and eBay, but I checked about 45 minutes ago and they were both still there. I have asked her to provide me with all her e-books so I can review them, but she has not done this yet.

Thank you so much for your great ideas and kind suggestions! I have been in touch with eBay, PayPal, and the colleges at which she is offering classes. I am working on what I should do next, and I may take you all up on your kind offers of help!

My former supervisor, John, always said we should never waste a good crisis. I'm sure there's something I will learn from this, and I remain optimistic! Again, thank you so much, my lovely readers!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

I need to make this abundantly clear - Marlene has apologized, but she has not done what I have asked her to do. I asked her to provide me with all the e-books to which she has attached her name so I may review them for more of my work, and she hasn't done this. I asked her to provide me with the materials she is using in her classes, and she hasn't done this. I asked her to stop selling the lipstick e-book, and she claimed to do it, but didn't for another 30 hours and that was only after another message from me. I asked her for the financial statements for the sale of the e-book and others that contain my work, and she has not done this.

Marlene has done nothing but offer excuses for her behaviour, and without action, her apology is means nothing.

If you look at the apology, it's all about her. Her vision, her mission, her ideals...every sentence in that apology is about Marlene, and she says nothing about how she has hurt other people and how she can make amends. Every message she has sent to me, posted here, and posted on her Facebook group is all about her feelings about the situation.

I have been reviewing some of her e-books, and this plagiarism goes far beyond me. She put her name on an e-book written by Perry Romanowski. She put her name on handouts from Making Cosmetics. She took an e-book on bath bombs by Cat, Queen of Bath & Body DIY, and put her name on that. I have found more information she has taken from my blog. She has taken information from loads of people on the 'net - I have written to at least four others as of today - and is selling their material as her own.

What she has written here and on her Facebook page is not an apology when she continues to sell e-books that contain plagiarized material from me and others. She really doesn't seem to realize how serious this is, that it won't go away by saying sorry. This goes way beyond me now, and it's only the beginning of the consequences for stealing our work.

I'm referring all of this to the lawyer with whom I met yesterday, and Marlene can deal with her now because I'm done.

Thank you to all of you, my lovely readers. If you notice Marlene has plagiarized someone, please let them know. I can't believe she's been getting away with this for so long, but now that it's out in the open and so many people are learning what she's done, she won't be able to do it much longer.

Stellarblew said...

I am sorry this has happened to you Susan and the others. You have been an inspiration to so many of us and share your knowledge and time so generously. We are all very grateful for all that you give us. This woman Marlene is deplorable! Words not back up with actions are meaningless.

Jammy Smith said...

I am sorry for what happened to you Susan. From what I read, she directly copied what you wrote even including punctuation. I can't believe that. It is illegal and absolutely not right. Seriously speaking, she is stealing other people's work although she might have a good intention. But when one is using other people's work and claim to be his/her work and make money, I think at least before using them in her books or classes, she should ask the consent from you and others and acknowledge them accordingly. In some cases, she needs to negotiate the terms of sharing profits, or pay the copyright. I would consider this case is serious especially involving business, profits and reputation. Verbal or written apology is not enough. I also think the other e-book writers or blog writers should be informed about it.

Mike - Sweet Air Soapworks said...

OMG Susan, that example you showed was a direct rip-off. She didn't even bother to try to reword it to at least attempt to somewhat make it her own. Sounds to me like she is a fraud, and a lazy one at that. After all, if she has to copy your work, word for word, then that tells me that she really doesn't even know or understand the material herself. Personally, I LOVE your blog and reading your material along with other online material. But I prefer to use it more as inspiration and/or education for coming up with my own formulations. My wife has tried a variety of recipes that she's seen on the net, but I'll only agree to her trying the recipe just to see how the product performs, or strictly for personal use. If we want to add a new product to our line to sell, I'll ask her for the recipe, then I'll start playing with different ingredients, different percentages, etc., so that I can make if my own. I don't know what that lady was thinking. After all, information on the net stays on the net. Your posts are date stamped, so you can prove you're the original author. She's setting herself up for a nasty fall...

Yukii Ravencrest said...

Susan I greatly appreciate your blog and find it to be the best site for researching ingredients. I am horrified (although not surprised) that others would be lazy and copy your hard work. I am so sorry this has happened to you.

Lisa Petrowsky said...

Hi, I hope you get this resolved. Plagiarism is a serious crime. I'm not up on Canadian laws but in the US if you make a statement something like this:
Intellectual Property of (insert name)
May not be disseminated electronically or in print without express written consent of the author.
then you have copyrighted your work without actually going through any legal channels. This is true of music, literature, art etc.
Can you attach a statement of this type and include the copyright symbol (C inside a circle) so that it appears at the top of any page a reader visits?
Love your work. Hate that you have been robbed. Lisa

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

A few of your comments ended up as spam - so weird. Sorry if you didn't see your comments here! I have updated the post to thank all of your for your kind words and thoughts.

I wanted to address the idea of approaching Marlene Daniels personally. I've done that. I've done that repeatedly. You can see her response to the matter, which was to apologize and claim she's done all that I asked, so I have to take it a step further. I don't have the energy and time to do all of this while I'm still grieving the death of my mother, but I have to do what is right. I have to pursue this to its logical end, whether that's having Marlene Daniels offer me adequate compensation and evidence she is no longer using a single piece of information from my blog and e-books, or to file suit against her and recover my losses that way. I'm meeting with a lawyer on Friday, and will be sharing everything I've found so far with her, so I'll know more then.

Thank you again to everyone for spreading the word of what's going on to me and other people! And for your incredible kindness. I really am so lucky to be surrounded by kind people! :-)

firegirl said...

I can't believe the brazenness of this woman. Bad enough to copy and publish your recipes on a website without permission and acknowledgement, but selling them and using them to teach as college is unbelievable. It is not only criminal, but also pathetic. I am so sorry that this has happened to you, Susan. You are such a generous person!

Maggie's Muse said...

I just read encouraging information in an Australian government publication called "Short Guide to Copyright". I am not well versed in copyright, however it appears in this 2012 publication that the U.S. and Australia offer reciprocal copyright protection and access to remedies for infringement. My warmest hugs to you. My heart aches that this has come on the heels of your mama's passing. Light and love.

LS said...

It is extremely upsetting to have hard work stolen! I admire what you do tremendously, and am so grateful for all you've taught me!

Pam said...

I'm so sorry to come upon this article Susan. One wonders what the world is coming to. Just is the current news there is talk of a young woman getting her PhD using plagiarism and even published a book using someone else's hard work. I'm sorry it has happened to you now. You are so open and generous to see this happen is just painful.

Emma said...


Just so you know, I popped over to her page today and it appears to be fully down.


Madison Golightly said...

Hi Susan,
I'm so sorry to hear someone is taking advantage of your information generosity. Stealing is horrendous enough but stealing from a charity? Nothing good will ever come from stolen money and may she reap what she's sewn in karma.
I'm not sure this will help but I used to work at eBay in the Community Watch department which is in charge of reviewing such listings and pulling them down if they violate laws or policies. I apologize in advance if I'm crossing the line with unsolicited advice but it can sometimes be tricky to get action from eBay if it's not going through the right channels. To have your items removed from her eBay account quickest, you can go into the listing and at the bottom right of the screen click on the "Report Item" link and indicate in the drop down boxes that her item infringes on your intellectual rights. This will pull the listing into a queue for the infringement team to review. Since at that point eBay has no concrete proof that she is infringing on your rights, you'll have to register with the eBay VeRO (Verified Rights Owner) department. To register your work with them, they'll request you fill out a NOCI (Notice of Claimed Infringement) form and send it in to them.

You can either email the completed form to:

or fax it to:
(801) 757-9521

While I know it must seem like a hassle to jump all these hoops but once you've registered your intellectual property with them, you'll have an incredible amount of power to shut her down. If you were to report a listing of hers, as the recorded VeRo it would be pulled immediately (she wouldn't get her seller fees back so it would be a loss to her) and after 3 or 4 times she would be looking at a suspension.

Once you submit the VeRO paperwork, it takes about a day or two to get scanned into the system but it could take much longer to get processed depending on the queue so if you haven't been contacted by them after a couple days, You can jump the system by calling eBay and asking to speak to the Infringement Community Watch Department. VeRO doesn't take calls so you'll get the run around asking for them but if you ask for Community Watch, they have the ability to find your NOCI in the system and refer it to the VeRO department for expedition.

I you find this information of some assistance and again, I'm sorry you're having to deal with this situation. Thank you for continuing to share your knowledge with us and have a wonderful day.


Madison Golightly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Madison Golightly said...

I'd also like to add that once you're registered with eBay VeRO, you can request statements from them that will tell you how many of your books she's sold and how much money she made from them. Should she continue to sell your items after she's been notified of your VeRO filing, it can be used as proof should you proceed with your intent to sue but Australian courts don't allow for punitive damages so financially speaking it probably wouldn't be worth your time.

H. Gill said...

Was just reading about this from Raylene at Humblebee & Me. As a Community we absolutely have to put a stop to such thieving b's. This is not ok when someone has put in countless hours researching and writing original content only to have it copied word for word and passed off as their own. Looks like ALL her Web content has been taken down but if not stopped, there's nothing to say she won't change the name and pop up somewhere else.
I have only been in the Soapmaking Business for one year but am learning this kind of thievery happens a LOT. That is not cool. Hopefully your Lawyer can put a stop to this and as a Community we have to watch each other's backs so our Industry does not become polluted. Will be watching and reading to see the outcome of this.
Heather Gill
Calgary, Alberta

Lisa Petrowsky said...

After reading through the posts I also did a search for SoapConscious and it appears her e-bay auctions have been ended. In the search I came up with 2 e-books that apparently have been posted for people to read for free. One is how to make make-up pencils. Each page has the following disclaimer == How to make Pencils Make up. Compiled by Marlene Daniels. Does that mean she isn't the author of any of the content, merely the compiler??
The other e-book is how to make perfume. If these e-books are part of the plagiarized content you should see about having them taken down as well.

Here are the web addresses just in case you need to know.

Good luck in your endeavors. Lisa

FractAlchemist said...

Hi Susan, I am a recent fan of your blog, I want you to know how sorry I am to see this happening to you . I wish you all the strength in the world to resolve this. Take care and good luck, Eveline Berkman from Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Thank you all so much! The outpouring of warmth, support, and generally kind words I've had sent to me or have seen written about me takes my breath away. I mean that with all sincerity. I've been absolutely lost for words by how lovely everyone has been to me.

It looks like Marlene has taken down just about everything about her company, which is a good thing, and I can't find any courses she's offering at any colleges either, which is another good thing.

Over the last week, I've uncovered so much plagiarism by Marlene Daniels that shocked me, including a course for which she was charging $1,000 that was pretty much all my work. I'm so happy she's refunded the money to one of the students, but it would be nice if she actually sent the money she made to the people from whom she stole writing, like me. She has not been in contact with me despite my repeated attempts, but I would hope that after all of this, she would offer me an actual apology for all the harm she's done.

Part one of this is done, but there's still part two, which is the legal side of things. My lawyer will be in contact with her shortly for more information on what she owes me, but I'm trying to focus my energy on something else for a while, like writing more blog posts and responding to comments.

Again, I will never ever be able to thank all of you for your kindness, but I will certainly try.

Carol Ochs said...

I very much feel for you. I've been suffering both copyright and trademark infringement for 23 years now and it just never seems to end. People in other countries seem to think they are immune from prosecution. When it comes to word or service marks (like a company name)unless you trademark it in other countries, you're only protected in the country you trademarked it in. With intellectual property, such as your blog writings, even if you register copyright it, it too can be subject to the country you're dealing with....

SweetHeartSearching said...

I am so so sorry, upset, sad,hurt, and frustrated to hear of this. You are SO generous and incredibly kind. It hurts to hear of things like this. I hope they do something to make it right. Unfortunately some people are just imo not on the same universe of thought and comprehension when it comes to the right thing to do. I have a good friend that had Disney world steal photos of her soap for their website. I'm also dealing with non cosmetic stuff.

I'm so sorry you have to deal with this from others. You are such a wonderful person. Your dad sounds like he was a great person. I hope the little growing puppy continues to bring you much joy-Lisa Marie harman

mary tartaglia said...

Susan, Im so sorry to hear about how your amazing work has been plagerized. This is truly very sad. On the other hand Susan I'm so proud of how YOU are handling this. You are not laying down and letting her get away with this, you are facing it directly, contacting the plagerizer, informing your readers, ebay, your lawyer etc. Unfortunately you have probably wasted far too much time on this.
I hope you can put this behind you soon.
Susan your work is amazing, I'd be lost without you blog. You are my principle source of knowledge and I'm so grateful.
Thank you Susan for all you share and do. Brava.

Thunder Thighs said...

She better not mess this up for the rest of us! Your blog is like the homecrafter bible! I've learned so much from you over the years, and I direct anyone who asks to this blog!

Your fan,

Bunni Lennon said...

Dogs and cats are the only people I know who give as freely as you - and some other folks - do and they never ever plagiarize. I am taught and ruled by 5 poodles and 3 cats.

Thanks for all you do! And the puppy is adorable.

Alicia Trinder said...

Hi, does anyone know where soapconscious were getting their cosmetic fillers & micas etc from? Any info is appreciated. Thanks.

not_ally said...

I posted the comment below to the website of Daniels' course taught through City East Community College. I am not sure if it is still valid, I don't see the comment, although it said it was published when I tried to republish it.

Maybe if people have web addresses that are still valid for Daniels - courses/product sales sites/blogs - they could post them here so that we could let her know how much we disapprove? I'm sorry if someone has already said this, I just skimmed the posts above, might have missed it if so.
"This so-called teacher, Marlene Daniels, has totally plagiarized (ie; almost wholesale copying of hundreds of pages) one of the most helpful bloggers in the homecrafter soap/bodycare arena, Susan Nichols. See

Daniels should be ashamed of herself, and you should be ashamed for supporting her if you continue to do so after investigating this. I think some of Susan's Oz supporters are investigating having any of Daniels' relevant licensing/credentialing revoked, you should consider that allowing continuing misrepresentations of such things after obtaining knowledge that they are contested (such as that provided by this notice) is likely actionable.

As a lawyer and as a soap/B&B product maker myself - who has spent countless hours on Susan's incredibly generous site - I am hopeful that she will be able to shut down Marlene Daniels' unethical and disgusting operations/conduct and appalled that someone would take advantage of Susan's goodwill in this way.

I would be very cautious about lending any credence to Daniels' (alleged - it might be her's, but again might be someone else's) work or advice. Anyone who would stoop to stealing someone's work in this way obviously has very little to offer of her own.

dnacp cb said...

Hi Susan, I'm not adding anything new here but had to say how sad I am for you. To put in the hours of work that you do for two purposes really. One that you obviously love what you research but second and most importantly that you also love o share what you've learned simply for he benefit of others. How kinf=d you are when you get nothing in return except our heartfelt thanks for all you do.
I really hope you get a satisfactory outcome. I know it won't take away the shock and upset it will obviously have caused you but hopefully, that one act of betrayal will be eclipsed by all those who support and appreciate your every action. Best Wishes Clare