Even though there has been a lot of talk about “AI” over the past 10 years, it wasn’t until late 2022 that we really saw the power of this technology, when several services were released for public use. DALL-E and ChatGPT seem to be just the beginning, and now other, simpler tools are starting to appear that can be used for not-so-legal purposes. For example, there is now a site that can remove the watermark from any photo with a single click.
WatermarkRemover is another AI tool used for plagiarism
WatermarkRemover.io is the free public website that allows any user to upload a watermarked photo, including from photo selling services such as Shutterstock or Getty Image. Once you have the image and upload it, you press a single button and the watermarks disappear. Sure, it’s not always a perfect solution, but some marks disappear completely, while others leave behind a few “artifacts”.
Of course, removing watermarks is an illegal practice, as the images in question are protected with such markings specifically so that they cannot be “stolen” and used by unlicensed users. The creators of WatermarkRemover say that the service is not responsible for how its users use the images and that they are fully liable under the law for copyright infringement. Furthermore, the site says that if you want to use an image from which you have removed the watermark, you should ask the original creator for permission. Which is redundant, since the author’s consent is “bought” from the service that applied the original watermark.
Similar actions were possible in the past, but using more advanced software, such as Photoshop, which, by its nature as a piece of software for a fee and complicated interface, could limit access for many users. Photoshop’s Content-Aware tool does much the same thing, analyzing the selected area of the image and generating pixels that blend correctly with those around them. But lowering the degree of difficulty to one click will certainly have an impact on image theft, since you no longer need access to Photoshop or the knowledge to use it.
It seems that, so far, AI is very powerful, but most use cases seem to center around plagiarism, whether we’re talking art, photography, or text.