> I have to assume that given the nature of MAME and how it's developed > that such a case (99% attributable to one person) is the minority, that is ... a > straw-man. If I'm way off base and most files are clearly attributable to single > person than please set me straight.
In a lot of cases there is only one person that does the majority of the work on each file. Someone might have to make changes to it if another class changes it's interface, but in those cases I believe they don't get a piece of the copyright pie. Usually if two people contributed enough that they deserve to share the copyright then they both know that the other person worked on it. There are exceptions and mistakes will be made, but the usual case is that you know whether a file is "yours" or not.
> Are you putting forth that you can identify the copyright holder of a piece of code > without first attributing it to someone? How do you do skip that step?
No we're not skipping that step. Your argument appears to be that we need to skip that step.