Message from Mr Peter Sidorko, University Librarian
17 March 2017

Dear Alumni and Colleagues,

I am sure that many of you are aware that HKU's intellectual property rights have been recently compromised through the reselling of our RPg theses on various websites.

I am writing to provide you with an update to the email I sent to alumni on Wednesday 15 March, 2017 (copied below).
As I said in that email, the University takes this matter seriously. Intellectual property rights must be respected and protected. Alumni have lodged complaints and some take-down actions have been effected by certain website hosts. Given that website hosts are located outside Hong Kong, theses authors should follow the applicable procedures and file complaints/take-down notices according to the designated websites (e.g. typically meeting the requirements of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act).

The University is monitoring the situation closely and a team of senior staff is now working on further actions which include:

1 Meeting and exchanging ideas with alumni representatives;

2 Issuing follow-up take-down letters to the website hosts;

3 Reporting suspected offences to the Hong Kong Police and other appropriate law enforcement agencies;

4 Engaging an international law firm to provide advice on the matter, in particular legal issues in connection with overseas jurisdictions;

5 Creating within the next week a web page which will:

a) Provide a central place for you to keep us updated on your concerns as well as any progress on lodging of complaints to the respective websites;
b) Contain a Frequently Asked Questions section addressing common issues;
c) Report key developments as they arise;
d) List links to websites where HKU theses are being sold;
e) Set out sample complaints and reviews for reference; and
f) Explain the Creative Commons licence which covers HKU theses;

6. Exploring other measures against infringements.

Again, the University takes this issue very seriously and we will continue to trace the source of this action and endeavor to keep you apprised of developments as they occur.

Should you have any questions, please send them to

Yours sincerely,

Peter Sidorko
University Librarian
The University of Hong Kong