Fraud = crime/felony?
Surely this is already covered? If I claim something to be be mine when it is not and gain pecuniary advantage by telling others they must pay me for copies, surely this is fraud and therefore, a criminal matter?
@Tony Hoyle and others: Yes - it is fraud. It is no more legitimate than fencing of sections of public land and selling them as your own. We are not talking about publishers being paid for the physical media on which they publish public domain material, we are talking about when they claim copyright and tell others that they cannot make copies. It's a scam, not business.
@The Indomitable Gall
Small publishers are free to charge what they like for printing public domain material - I guess the market will determine the price. If their business model does not work unless they also claim copyright for the material, then they are conmen.