Crossmark no longer identifies incorrect website domains

When we set up Crossmark, one of the requested features was to help identify articles that were being read on the wrong website as a way to help prevent piracy. This has now been removed.

The ‘domain violation’ feature worked by the publisher adding in the metadata which domain a work should appear on (e.g. is published on When a user opens the Crossmark dialog from a website, a warning is shown if the domain doesn’t match the one in the metadata.

Unfortunately, in practice it has caused some difficulties. Firstly, members who wanted to use the feature changed website domain or hosted works on several domains which weren’t included in the metadata, leading to warnings for articles on legitimate websites. Second, other members added the domain to the metadata without particularly needing the domain checking feature, but found warnings appearing after migrating to a new platform. Third, we only partially implemented reporting on the number of domain violations, and have since removed the counts without any complaints from members, suggesting a low level of engagement with the feature.

In short, trying to detect works published on the wrong website has caused more issues than it solved and we are not aware of members who are relying on it. To make life easier for everyone we have removed the warning.

We’re currently taking a look at other aspects of Crossmark. If you’d like to join the conversation, please check out this post or get in touch.

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