Google Creates Algorithm That Instantly Erases Watermarks from Stock Photos


Google Creates Algorithm That Instantly Erases Watermarks from Stock Photos
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Watermarks are the most common mechanism which is placed on images like stock photos in order to prevent people from using these images for free, without paying for them or even without the permission of its owner. Watermarks are digitally overlaid on images (photographs), logos, patterns, etc.

Google researchers keep experimenting and they have given a free
fun tool which helps us to draw. One can use this tool on a mobile phone, a tablet or also on a computer system.

The researchers at Google have now invented this super cool Algorithm which can get past this protection by removing watermarks and giving clean images as a result.

This algorithm makes it easy to erase watermarks in images and makes it vulnerable to use across places on the internet without much security and even without credits.

While removing watermarks manually from images is extremely tedious, this feature does it in a jiffy for an entire collection of images.

Like the previous material design tool that Google released a while ago, this algorithm has been in the talks.

The Mechanism

The mechanism behind this algorithm is simple. The algorithm first identifies the object which is common in all images. The program determines the watermark, its decomposition, and alpha matte components into the image.

It then estimates the opacity and reconstructs the original image which is free of the watermark.

This algorithm, basically, does multi-image matting to overcome the problem of multi-level optimization. This technique separates the watermarks from the original images. The result of which is very accurate.

The Counter-Mechanism

Stock-photo vendors could not screw up their business with the launch of Google’s algorithm which was otherwise made in the best interest of the industry.

Shutterstock is here with an antidote to safeguard its images which are all over the internet today.

As soon as Shutterstock came to know about this algorithm, they managed to reverse the Google’s engineering. This algorithm prevents copyright violators to steal their images and use them without even paying for them.

This reverse mechanism basically confuses the algorithm and inserts minor inconsistencies on the images along with the watermark.

The greatest challenge was to protect the image quality without degrading it at all.

The Algorithm

Google Algorithm Erases Watermark From Stock Photos

Google Algorithm Removes Watermark From Stock Photos
Image source

Gif Google Algorithm Erases Watermark From Stock Photos

 

The Results (Original Input Image vs Reconstruction):

Google Algorithm Erases Watermark From Stock Photos
Image source
Google Algorithm Erases Watermark From Stock Photos
Image source
Google Algorithm Erases Watermark From Stock Photos
Image source

fotolia: Reconstructions

fotolia-Reconstructions
Screenshot via Google Research Blog

AdobeStock: Reconstructions:

AdobeStock-Reconstructions
Screenshot via Google Research Blog

On the Effectiveness of Visible Watermarks

Video via Tali Dekel

Final Word…
However, the current state of image protection is very poor and is very vulnerable to violation. It is important to create features in good spirits. These features are also important to protect all copyright issues of the image owners and also make good quality images easily available to the users.
This Google algorithm enables to erase watermarks on stock images. It gives users access to the clean images which the watermarks should otherwise protect.

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