Ok, fair enough, I clearly had an incorrect sense of how many shared files there would be. Taking Haze at his word on this it would have seemed that he himself has touched many many files throughout the project which he would not be willing to call his own. Extrapolating that out, I assumed that he wouldn't be the only one with such a claim. But I see your point, you're suggesting (I think), that his changes and others like it wouldn't have assigned him copyright.
>No we're not skipping that step. Your argument appears to be that we need to skip that step. Then, will all due respect, you are missing my point. Really, to argue that assigning contributors is different then assigning copyright is semantics on some level but if you view them as separate than you clearly have to do both in order. Specifically, you have to figure out who contributed the code (assign it) and then figure out if that contribution deserves copyright. My argument, similar to Haze's, has been that the development of MAME would seem to be so evolutionary and based on multiple people working together over a vast span of time that properly assigning every bit of code to the correct contributor would be an insurmountable amount of work. If that's not the case as you and etabeta describe then indeed, than it's clearly not so.