The issue is: does the copyright exist in the first place?
It doesn't matter if I make a single copy of the Mona Lisa or a million - the copyright has expired, and that's that. Likewise, if a single paragraph is found to be copyrighted, then that right exists in full - there is no legal "discount" because it's only a paragraph instead of a book.
Copyright law is not concerned with volume - it's concerned only with the right to copy, and who has it. Now, in the case of very large amounts of copyright violations, then the penalty can increase due to the severe nature of the problem. But that happens only after the fact that a copyright violation has been determined in the first place.
The only way that you could claim copyright on a description or title in a header was if that description or title was so long and obviously artistic in nature that it warranted protection. It would be up to a court to decide that, I imagine. Most SEO'd titles, being generally less than 100 characters long, would not be covered.
Copyright law is the wrong approach to this. It's simply not designed for it. It would take legislation passed specifically for this purpose - just like they had to do about domain name squatting, spam, etc. Before that, there was no real protection. Some would argue there is little protection after it, as well.
This is why many universities draw a strong distinction between copyright and plagiarism. They acknowledge that due to fair use and other issues (like public domain) students may attempt to turn in papers that nonetheless are plagiarized. This includes documents they paid for (and thus they are allowed to use under copyright law), wikipedia entries, etc. Copyright simply is different from passing off someone else's work as your own. In this case, we are talking about plagiarism.
Your compensation for a violation of your rights is determined by volume and loss, not the existence of the right in the first place.
Edited by mcanerin, 18 December 2006 - 11:32 AM.