Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

The Old Rugged Cross? Can't find it

Way back a bit I learned the Old Rugged Cross off this site and now I went back to review it as I need to try and remember a part and can’t find it?? Am I just missing it?

The only thing I was able to find on the whole site is this:

I remember that one a while back on the old site, it was one of my favorites. The licks Ben came up with for the mandolin on that tune would make shivers run down your spine. Sure wish he’d bring it back. By the way he included that instrumental on the Purple Hulls CD “Close To Home”. You should check it out if you haven’t heard it.

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I had to pull it down due to copyright law. I hope to have it back sometime in the future!

@BanjoBen, I’m no copyright lawyer, but I’m an internet bloodbound (as you’re already aware…lol) and I work Navy contracts for a living. Research is my name. I’m curious, who is telling you it’s copyrighted? Everything I’ve found shows that song to be in the public domain. I know many have remade it, but the original was written by George Bennard in 1912 and published in 1915:

According to Copyright law, “all works published in the United States before January 1, 1923, are in the public domain.”:

Effect of 1976 Act on Length of Subsisting Copyrights
The 1976 Copyright Act carried over the system in the
1909 Copyright Act for computing copyright duration for
works protected by federal statute before January 1, 1978,
with one major change: the length of the renewal term was
increased to 47 years. The 1998 Copyright Term Exten-
sion Act increased the renewal term another 20 years to 67
years. Thus the maximum total term of copyright protec-
tion for works already protected by January 1, 1978, has
been increased from 56 years (a first term of 28 years plus a
renewal term of 28 years) to 95 years (a first term of 28 years
plus a renewal term of 67 years). Applying these standards, all
works published in the United States before January 1, 1923,
are in the public domain.”

Excerpted from:

Here’s a listing of that song’s original copyright listing by the government in 1913 placing it squarely in the public domain.

Screenshot-2018-2-12 Catalog of Copyright Entries(2)

Screenshot-2018-2-12 Catalog of Copyright Entries(3)

Screenshot-2018-2-12 Catalog of Copyright Entries(1)!

Screenshot-2018-2-12 Catalog of Copyright Entries

More resources:

Maybe that will help?


I’d like to know that as well so we don’t have to pay those copyright/licencing fees every year at church. Lol.

Well doggone it I’m gonna make these lessons available again! Good catch @Bob!


You’re welcome brother! I’m happy to assist with any others that might be in question. :smile:

That one must have slipped through for some reason. The others were definite on the list per my copyright lawyer. Don’t know how this one made it. I may have done this one myself.

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It happens. Best let the copyright lawyer handle the big stuff. That’s what they get paid $300+/hr for!

I wish that figure was an exaggeration…


LET’S HEAR IT FOR BOB !!! Well done, we sure appreciate your time and effort on this. Can’t wait to see it available on the site again!


Well guys and gals glad now I asked!! The old clip was enough to jog my old brain and now I have it down again. I sure appreciate your help and posting that for me. Great song and one of the first I learned off the site years ago when I first joined. Seems easy now but back then it took me a good long while to learn it. Thanks again, Jerry

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