Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

The ballad of Jed Clampet

Hi John, I don’t know all the legal stuff. But here’s what I believe. Earl certainly had ownership of his music, the person who created the TAB may or may not have a stake in ownership. The publisher would also have some kind of stake in it. Earl’s wife was his manager and she would have had some kind of contract drawn up to protect Earls assets. Each of these stock holders would be entitled to some form of royalties income.

Sometimes artists do sell their copyrights and the owner of the copyright is entitled to recover income from the sale and public performance of the works so long as the copyright remains valid.

Not so long ago Warner/Chappell Music owner of the copyright to the song Happy Birthday tried to recover royalties from schools etc but a US Judge ruled the copyright invalid.

Check this out

1 Like

Archie, thanks for the info on copyright, I’ll check it out. I’ll also wait if anyone else answers my question.

Uhhhhhhhmmmm… Lawyer :cold_sweat:

1 Like

I guess then @MissMaggie you’ve understood my line of questioning and where I’m getting at!

OK, when copyrighted material is in private circulation, I have a no knowledge about it, therefore I have no business with it. I can’t be in violation. Like for example, Ben’s lessons. Except for those who pay for it, it is not available to common public. Common public cannot possibly violate copyright as they have no knowledge unless another violation happens from a distribution by those who have access to Ben’s materials.

But when copyrighted material is in public, I have knowledge of those materials but am I still expected to observe copyrights?? OK that’s fine too. It is the owner’s or the acquirer’s stuff. They should have the rights. Fair enough.

But here is where my issue…

I speak, I share my knowledge with somebody, I do things, I go to places etc etc. It is individual’s data - private or public. Now, in the same token of owner’s having copyright for their work, should there be not an implicit copyright for an individual’s data?? I spend time and money for all these things. Why is it allowed to be used by third parties??

When Ben’s using a computer/software package cannot transfer his material rights to the software company, how does my using a computer/software package can transfer the rights of my own individual data to a third party??

John, you’ve moved waaaaay beyond me. I suggest you consult a lawyer to get these answers. Sorry bud.


Hi Maggie, I wish the government (the people) frames laws to make knowledge, collection and storage of individual’s data - personal, private or public - by companies unlawful, except certain data by certain companies for operational or security purposes, regardless whether the data was volunteered or not. Big data would become tiny data then. I know it will not be allowed to happen. But I’m just pointing out the unfairness in the world. And if felt unfair, true Christians cannot be agreeing to such dual standards in principle.

But take it easy Maggie! :slight_smile:

The verdict in the “Happy B’Day” makes sense to me!

My grams lived next door to the wife of the guy that wrote the “hokey pokey”. He did not get it copyrighted. They lived in a senior/low income apt.


My understanding is 75 years from the day the copyrite owner dies. However, I’ve read that there are some powers that be, (no idea who), that are trying to have it extended.


If Earl hadn’t done it, someone else would have a long time ago.

That is how Mr. Carter from the Carter family made tons of money. He traveled all over looking for songs that other artists had written. He would then copy rite them himself.

Talk about a passive income!


One short addendum. He would then record the songs, and made his money there.


lol… don’t know Carter history… but yeah I understand it in general. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Jack, I’ll give you a hint.


lol… no idea who?? no who, idea!! (ideology, invisible “illegal” power, “spiritual wickedness in high places”!)

1 Like

That’s a version indeligibly etched in my long term memory forever. Handy just in case someone asks to hear it!


:grin: I should have known that!


Earl (actually his wife) is/was a copyright expert. They knew what they were doing and they have protected their creations well, as they should.


YEs, I’ve seen this tab. Doesn’t sound like the theme song. A few different notes–plus no online tab that I’ve found has the slower part with the singing. Wish I had an ear like yours–I’d tab it out myself!

1 Like

Do you have the Earl Scruggs and the five string Banjo book? It’s in there. If you don’t you should get it. It’s one you should have, it’s a great backup along with BBC tutorials. Hey and welcome to the family, This is a great place to learn and improve the craft.