I have an image that I found on another site. It's just a one pixle wide stripe, and I'm wondering if it's protected by copyright.
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That image can't be copyrighted. In order for something to be copyrighted, it has to be an "original work", or be something like a book or an image that required creativity, imagination, etc. to create. A stripe can be created by anyone, without even thinking about it, so it does not fall under copyright restrictions.
Semi related: if you are going to try to use an actual picture as a background, one that is protected by copyright (see above), you should make sure that your allowed to do so.