Ok so I do a search on google, TinEye, and http://www.copyright.gov/
and that would be due diligence in your opinion? Given I'm a professional willing to share my knowledge for free I have no problem using creative common licensed images. I know too many photographers who are happy to share their work or portions of their work that way. I do link back to where I get the image and credit that on my website.
It took 15 minutes for me to track down the mailing/email information on the Flickr person whose image I used. It would seem that Getty Images has an obligation to send a cease & desist to that person and a demand to Flickr that all Getty Images be removed from their site. If I could find his site listed using the tools you recommend than Getty Images could also. I found a bunch of Getty Images up on Flickr including the one we are discussing. Between my discussion with someone at Getty Images and the fact that so many of their images are all over Flickr I have to wonder if they see this as an income stream. While they may or may not be able to track down the individual putting the images up I know that they can legally have his images or even his account shut down... If it can be done with books and other artwork it can be done with photos.
If you don't want your work under Creative Commons licensing I agree you should not be forced to allow your work to be used for free. But I believe you need to go after the supplier of your images and the places that have them posted and not JUST people like me who didn't know better. I also think a 2-part C&S and only if that does not work, a bill would be a more appropriate way to handle this kind of situation.
I do think artist should get paid for their work if that is what they choose. But do you really think $780 is reasonable for 44 page views? Yes this penalty will make sure I never do this again. The photographer may make a one time fee off of me. Business is about repeat customers. Working with your customers when their is a problem. Coming up with a solution that works for both of you so the next time they need your kind of services they will think of you first. Why would I want to work with Getty Images or iStockphoto after being treated like a criminal for making a mistake?
As to TinEye its not reliable in my opinion based on the fact that they only want very large portfolios:
"One of our goals at TinEye is to connect images to their authors and facilitate attribution. And growing the TinEye index is an important step in that direction. Today our index is over 2 billion images. We are continuing to grow the TinEye index by crawling and adding partner image collections.
To date we have added image collections from F1 Online, ID Image Direkt, iStockphoto, Getty Images, Masterfile, Photoshelter, Wikipedia and many more. We will continue to receive partner image collections by hard drive. However, to make it easier to have your image collection included in the TinEye index, we are introducing beta support for imagemap files.
Please note that for the duration of our TinEye imagemap beta, submission priority will be given to:
stock photography and editorial image collections
art and illustration collections available for licensing
archival and historical image collections
creative commons image collections
If you manage such a website, you can become a TinEye content partner by creating and submitting an imagemap file to TinEye."
Cost start at $200/month to be listed will make sure indie and small photo groups cannot afford to be listed. Which to me does not map with their stated goals... But then by looking at whose sponsoring them I'm less surprised.
I don't think you need to move to a new model of giving your work away. I do think you need to find better ways of defining commercial and how you deal with people in the time of social media and the importance of customer/potential customer relations.