how can a publisher claim copyright over a public domain work?
new to the forum here. i have a simple question. but the answer is problably very complicated. how is it that publishing companies, either in print or electronic form, can claim copyright to a book that is clearly already in the public domain? classic books that you buy in any university library (shakespeare, jane austen, etc.) clearly show that it is copyrighted by the publishing company selling the book. i even see that fictionwise and barnes and noble have such copyright claims on the classics in ebook form that they sell. looking to understand. thanks.