Ok for what it's worth.....
I can understand mreams frustration. I think the idea here is that if you are going to take the risk
of using images not your own, your best option would be to indeed do those reverse searches and perhaps stick to some of the free sites on Mcfilms list posted in this forum. Obviously there are a lot of us here who no longer wish to take this risk.
I guess if you want to be 100% safe do nothing, never post anything on any website, and never leave home or get out of bed. Of course I am being sarcastic but you can't let fear of a small chance something will happen stop you stop you from doing what you want.
I also can understand Lettered's point however, the risk of being sued for taking ones own photograph is something that I personally do not worry about. The example given in the UK case is pretty unusual. I don't think it would be the "norm" for most amateur photographers. I would have no issue going out and taking a photo of a couple kissing on a carousel and using it. I doubt seriously that it would look anything like the image in question. On that note however, when I first looked at the two photos in the UK case, my first thought was that it was BS, that the two photos were obviously NOT the same photo! I could see why the case went on for four years with an APPEAL
Not even taking your own pictures is 100% certain. There have been cases of people losing lawsuits in which their own photo (that they took themselves) looked too much like a Getty photo. Here's a UK case I remembered:
I think you can even find some cases where photographers have gotten into trouble for photographing copyrighted works of art.
I was curious about the UK case and the image involved. Here is the link to the image on Getty's site:http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/couple-kissing-on-merry-go-round-high-res-stock-photography/AB25725
Also interesting I searched the U.S. Copyright Website and found only 4 registrations for the photographer of this image. This photo does not appear to be included in the search by "name":
# Name (NALL) < Full Title Copyright Number Date
[ 1 ] Sanderson, Ian [Payne Stewart commemorative print] VA0001070949 2000
[ 2 ] Sanderson, Ian Payne Stewart commemorative print / VA 1-070-949. V3521D420 2005
[ 3 ] Sanderson, Ian Moffat Ariane. VA0001628288 2008
[ 4 ] Sanderson, Ian R. WALKER'S PEDIATRIC GASTROINTESTINAL DISEASE Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management, Fifth Edition. TX0007248959 2008