ncheremnykh wrote:I think the implication is that I in some way inserted someone else's work in my submission, which isn't true. The image I used is from stock.xchng (http://www.sxc.hu/photo/653075), has a royalty free usage license and the original image has in no-way simply been used as my submission.
I did use the outline of the parchment edge and a very plain map as the framework for background in my submission. I experimented with drawing different things around the continents as a skeletal structure and chose the outline of a T-rex as my favorite. On top of that, I added colors, shading and other details, as well as lines of perspective for my actual submission.
The final image only resembles the stock image (which has an open license) in the outline of parchment only - none of the design is found anywhere else. Even if the outline had been from copyrighted material, which it wasn't, the final image and its intent hardly reflects the original and would easily qualify under the Fair Use Doctrine in US copyright law.
Even if we ignore the "no photos" rule that is a woot standard, did you get permission from the photographer to use the image? The terms/conditions on that site specifically state:
Always ask permission from the photographer if you want to use the Image
* In website templates that You intend to sell or distribute.
* For creating printed reproductions that You intend to sell.
* On "print on demand" items such as t-shirts, postcards, mouse pads, mugs (e.g. on sites like Cafepress), or on any similar mass produced item that would contain the Image in a dominant way.