Yes, cover art is copyrighted, at least in the US. The reason is that
anything that is in a fixed format (printed, online, whatever) is
automatically accorded copyright based on US law. Given that "cover art"
is "art," the terms of the copyright might be rather complex -- in other
words, the "art" could have rights that are separate from or in addition
to the "design" of the cover. But I assume that the design, which is
what you'd be scanning, is owned by the publisher since they commission
it or have it down in house. That said, I would assume that publishers
like having their covers visible as long as they aren't being re-used in
a for-profit manner. Amazon's use, which is to publicize the book, is
undoubtedly part of the contract between the publisher and Amazon. If a
library scans the covers itself, I would not expect publishers to mind
(assuming they even notice). After all, many libraries use the covers in
displays in the library. I would expect that the service(s) that deliver
covers to library systems and make money off of that need to have
permission to do so.
On Fri, 2004-03-05 at 01:17, Chris Cormack wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 04, 2004 at 11:13:14AM -0800, Karen Coyle said:
> > The legalese on this page is rather thick, but it appears to me that you
> > can only use the images if you provide a link back to the sales page for
> > that book on Amazon. Does anyone read it differently?
> Hi All,
> Thanks for your answers, I think I may have phrased my question wrongly :)
> Its not so much getting permission from Amazon .. but more whats the legal
> status of a scanned image of a cover of a book.
> Im assuming (and i could well be wrong) that Amazon dont hold the copyrights
> for the cover art of the books they have images for.
> Just like I dont for any books I have on my shelf .. what I was musing on
> was more the fact that if I went and scanned the cover of all my books say,
> and made those images available on the web.
> Would I be violating copyright? Id hope not, but then a lot of copyright law
> just seems bizzare to me :)
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