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I am almost ready to publish my research project. In my project, I used different cliparts and created a couple of figures for my participants to view. For example, I created an image of a person walking in a park. In this image, the park consisted of trees, the sun, and grass. These are all separate cliparts I downloaded online. As you can see, I put multiple images together and created my stimuli photos.

Now the biggest challenge for me is that I can't publish these figures in academic journals because I can't receive the permission to do so. First, I can't find the original authors of the cliparts. Second, most cliparts only have a "personal use only license". I don't want to violate any copyright. However, I desperately need to publish them with my work because it will provide good visual representation to the reviewers and audience.

A prof suggested me to ask someone to redraw the figures I created. And put notes like the "this is reproduced version of the original image, content of the original image is copyright projected". I'm wondering whether this makes sense? I think I do have the copyright of the figures I created, but I don't have the copyright of the cliparts that were used to create the figure.

As you can see, this is a very complicated situation. I really need advice. If you have any other ideas, please let me know. I would really appreciate it. I realized I should have thought more about this when I first created them. I will never do this again.

Thank you in advance.

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    I don't want to violate any copyright --- sounds like you already did, if these images are licensed for personal use only. – Federico Poloni Aug 13 at 20:15
  • I didn't publish them anywhere. They are mainly used for viewing so far and personal communications so far. – user96976 Aug 13 at 20:36
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    Find CC-suitable analogs of your images. – Captain Emacs Aug 13 at 23:40
  • Thank you, what does CC-suitable mean? – user96976 Aug 14 at 1:31
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    @user96976 Creative Commons. – nick012000 Aug 14 at 1:35
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Describe them in words instead, along with where and how you found them and the process that you used to generate the composite images. Even if the images themselves are copyright protected, your methodology isn’t. Ultimately, what’s important is reproducibility- you need to include enough detail that someone who reads your paper could attempt to reproduce your study.

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