Sunday, November 09, 2008

So nice to see my works and methods copied, but please give me credit

When I discovered, a few years ago that Justine Crane, a very ambitious and gregarious perfumer, was happily taking ideas I posted in my Natural Perfumery group on Yahoo and posting them on her Yahoo group (as her own ideas), I contacted her and asked nicely that she credit me. Emails were exchanged, and in a telephone conversation she agreed, but nothing happened, so I let it slide - there are probably tens of thousands of words written by me over the years on the group, and if one person decides that the stuff is just too good to pass up, I decided I have to learn to live with it. In fact, I even sent her an early release of another Primer I did on the IFRA issue regarding regulation of aromatics to show there was no bad blood.

After all, isn't it just the idea that knowledge and ideas have to be shared?

Unless it's taken and passed off as one's own works with no credit. I wrote previously how Ruth Ruane violated copyright and posted my Primer contents on her blog (since removed.) Turns out Ruth, who has little or no perfumery experience, established a perfumery school and named herself director. Then named Justine teacher. Well, I'm sorry to report that Justine has now authored a Primer, and now posts a method that I, and only I, have previously shared. One part of the sharing was in the Yahoo group, the other in my Primer only. I'm the only perfumery teacher to use a specific method of scent evaluation and it's in Justine's latest blog, along with a specific secondary method. I know nobody else has taught this, and I know it was in the copyright-violated Primer, so it's easy to put two and two together.

They're offering a "free" perfumery course, but you have to purchase the Primer, and the kit, and other supplies from them. They're using the Moodle platform I trailblazed for perfumery, the year-long module/unit structure, and many other copycat elements.

I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I'm very flattered. However, not getting credit and having ones work passed off as someone else's is just, well, you fill in the words. In the perfumery world, there are copycat fragrance producers, so now I guess we have copycat teachers.

Anyone who is in my group or my class knows that I offer knowledge freely, and have done so for eight years (counting the perfumery group I had before Yahoo.) I love to teach, and I love to guide students on the perfumery path, but I have to admit - stealing my works stinks.


  1. I'm so sorry this happened to you.

  2. Thanks, Amanda, that's very kind of you. Someone wrote me that the perfumery site is failing, and that the 'volunteers' have been 'let go'. Plus, the person who took my techniques backed down and removed the blog post where she touts the technique I pioneered in perfumery, and then today posted rather frantically on her blog a lot of links she found about the technique - everywhere but in a perfumery course. Of course, I knew about those links already. :-) I hope they find peace, those two, they're really behaving poorly, and the results are showing. Quite sad.


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