> Publishers make their covers available to them and to others because
> they desperately want their covers out there. You can get covers from
> publishers with amazing ease. I do not suspect Amazon or Syndetics
> have licensed the covers in any way.
Having worked for a number of years for a children's library book supplier in the mid 1990s in the UK, I can concur with Tim -- all of the publishers we dealt with (which included all of the major players) were more than happy to supply us with book cover scans to use on our web site. The only issue for us was the wide variety in quality (from tiny GIFs to massive TIFFs), so we ended up doing all of the cover scanning ourselves inhouse (again, the publishers we're happy for us do this).
On the subject of copyright, wasn't there a recent case brought against Google's Image Search where the judge ruled that thumbnails do not violate the copyright of the original image?
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