Unfortunately this article doesn't have comments enabled as I disagree strongly with both the way the article was written and with the conclusions it drew. I did fire off a quick email to the author though.
I don't quite follow your thinking on the creative commons. Surely anybody using the attribution license has actually agreed to give away their work? Personally I would only license something like that if I would be proud to see it on a bus shelter.
Virgin was clearly never going to pay the users of flikr for their work, they specifically chose CC commercial-use-allowed photos. If the photo in question was originally licensed all rights reserved then it would never have been used and the photographer would have been no better off, but considerably less famous. I'm not sure where the benefit comes in that scenario.
The fault does indeed lie with the user here, no matter which way you spin it. Ignorance of the law does not excuse you from it and using a license you haven't read is just the same as signing something you don't understand - stupid, but not an excuse.
Claiming that there is no place for the creative commons is paramount to claiming that there is no place for public domain. I'd love to see you write an article explaining why we should abandon that tired old institution.