To avoid copyrighted images ending up on our front page (meaning in the top 5 stories or in the editors picks), we are implementing a policy that means if your story makes it to one of these slots, and you have a copyrighted image or a copyrighted video attached to it, then your image(s) and/or video(s) will be removed and if a replacement cannot be found, then your story will have no media attached to it.
This ultimately means that your story will not be able to make it to the number one slot, even if it has the most number of recommendations and reads, as the top story must have media to stay in that slot.
A copyrighted image, is one that you do not have permission to use, meaning it came from a news site that you highlighted from, or from a major news organization, or even from someone's Flickr account that they did not give you permission to use.
Here is a piece about copyrighted images as well.
For Videos it is the same deal; if a video is uploaded by a content creator's own account, for example the BBC uploads a BBC video, then it's ok to use it. Also if someone takes a video of the hurricane in their backyard, then it's ok to use it, but other than that, it probably isn't ok.
We hope this helps clear some things up for you. Please remember that we have an extensive database of photos and videos as well that you can always use any media from, so it would be a good idea to check there if you can't find any media from other sources.
In addition, to avoid posts with too much highlighted material being on our front page as well, any posts that do not have a sufficient amout of original content then it will be removed from the top five and will not be chosen for an editor's pick. NowPublic encourages members to write their pieces as 80% original content to 20% Highlighted text.
We just want to avoid material that is mostly other's work appearing on our front page, and we want to reward our members who take the time to write a sufficient amout of original content.