Getty sent a letter to the a website owner informing her that she was using a photograph without the correct license. The website owner was the original photographer of that photograph, and had previously donated tens of thousands of photographs from her collection to the US Library of Congress for use in the public domain. Getty had found these “free” photographs, added them to their collection, and were charging a premium for them. Carol M. Highsmith is now suing Getty and Alamy for $1 billion.
One note is that we could be using the Library of Congress for images before searching Getty!