Reply from Shutterstock

Well it took them a while to get back to me regarding my question about the Olympic Rings illustration and why it was rejected.
Seems my initial thoughts were correct and well, read for yourself in their reply:

"Hello David,

Yes there is a difference. The Olympic Rings you cited in the images below are actual newsworthy editorial shots of the Olympic Rings taken by submitters.

Your Olympic Ring illustration you submitted would not be considered true editorial as you created them yourself and it is certainly prohibited from being licensed for royalty free commercial use.

For more information you may see the following forum post:"

Actually, after reading (again) that post they mention, it doesn't really give a clear indication of their policy on such matters. All it says is "All Olympic logos and torches are trademarked designs. Unacceptable for commercial use."
It doesn't say "it's ok if you take a photo for editorial but not if you make it up from scratch" which would have been more helpful.
But hey ho.. never mind. Dreamstime approved that image and now have it exclusively.

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