I think this is just paranoia. The vast majority of "products" are mere hype and packaging - go to the supermarket and you can buy a litre of "healthy, natural" water for 1,000 times its actual value. What's the difference between this and an idiot paying money for falsely labelled public-domain stuff?
And don't be so sympathetic about (thick) academics being exploited - students and teachers regularly, persistently and knowingly breach real copyright. The photcopiers in the university library may be strictly controlled, but every university campus has at least one flourishing photocopying shop nearby.
Copyright is, I think, not affected by any claims made for it in the published material, so it's really no more relevant that a book claims to be "copyright somebody 2009" than that a bottle of water claims to be "healthy". That fools are convinced by either claim is not, I think, a matter of great public concern.