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I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but here goes.

So, a couple months ago, I joined a video contest in which I used an image from Wikimedia commons. At the time it was listed as Public Domain as the photographer(s) had died before 1942.

Now, the contest holders are making me check and submit every image/file I used for the video, as to check its copyright status and such. I go back to the page, and lo and behold, it's been deleted. Further searching of the chat log shows that the original uploader had been misinformed and the images were not, indeed, public domain. it was removed shortly after I used it in my project.

Now what can I do? I need to submit the sources within 2 weeks. What are my options? There is a similar image, a painting of said image done for a postage stamp, which is public domain. Is there anything I can do with it?

Thank you for reading, I hope this can work out!

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You need to remove the image from your video, as you do not have permission to use it and never did, despite what the entry in Wikimedia suggested - the license granted to you was never valid, so your use of it is not legal.

Remove or replace the image. If you cannot do that and resubmit the video, then withdraw the video from the contest.

You could alternatively try and make an argument based around fair use, but that would heavily depend on your use of the image in the video, and the contest organisers have no obligation to accept such an argument.

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