Album artwork downloaded from International iTunes stores?

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
I bought the import version of The Essential Alan Parsons Project since it has three discs, and the forthcoming American version will only have two. I was suprised to see the artwork downloaded even though the album is not available in the U.S. store. Two possible explanations:

1. Apple has the artwork available, but the album has not been released yet.

2. Artwork is downloaded from a central location, regardless of the country the user is in.

My money is on number two. Has anyone else noticed this?
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