AI watermark remover tool lets users remove watermarks with a single click

Comments Comments

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues its relentless march to change the face of photography whether photographers like it or not, it seems that every week we're seeing a new AI-enhanced piece of software designed to simplify the creative process.

One of the latest is by developer PixelBinIO, which has launched a free-to-use artificial intelligence watermark remover,, that does exactly what it says on the tin - allowing users to remove photographers’ watermarks with the click of a button.

Image: Watermark Remover.IO

The software has sparked heated conversations surrounding copyright protections since its launch last year.

Tools like Watermark Remover aren't entirely new, and in fact Adobe Photoshop’s content-aware fill tool has also let users remove watermarks for a number of years. But Photoshop isn't free, and to use content-aware does require prior knowledge.

Watermark Remover on the other hand is completely free, available on the web and as an Android app, and also automates the process with a single click.

As the Verge has written, although removing a watermark without the original owner’s consent is illegal in the US, the tools that allow users to circumvent copyright protections like Watermark Remover aren’t necessarily illegal themselves.

In Australia, while there's no specifics about watermarks in copyright law, part of our copyright infringement law is defined as an unauthorised use of a substantial part of a work.

Image: Mike O'Connor
Image: Mike O'Connor
The tool did a pretty impressive job of removing the large watermark on this image. Image: Mike O'Connor

The creators of Watermark Remover have sought to address the software's legality in an FAQ, saying:

“Users of this app are solely responsible for any claims, damages, cost, expenses, suits, etc. brought by any third party pertaining to the usage of the resulting images with the watermarks removed. You need to get the original image owner’s consent or approval before you use the watermark removed images for any commercial use.”

Despite the website's promise to smoothly get rid of the translucent watermarks from images in just few seconds [sic], we found the results pretty poor.
Despite the website's promise to 'smoothly get rid of the translucent watermarks from images in just few seconds' [sic], we found the results pretty lacklustre for smaller watermarks.

Watermark Remover is just one of dozens of disruptive AI technologies that are continuing to challenge ideas of authorship in the creative industries in the 21st century.

Last year, Adobe confirmed its Adobe Stock platform would accept AI-generated content for sale, and Shutterstock recently announced it was launching its own text-to-image generator based on OpenAI’s DALL-E 2 software.

This is despite many creatives expressing concern that the tools that train AI technologies scrape images that copyright has not been consented for, and will ultimately reduce the need for human-created work.  

Cover image: Mike O'Connor

comments powered by Disqus