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Court settles yodelling copyright row

A bizarre copyright row over a multi-million pound yodel has been finally settled after a 60 year row.

Yodelling has been used in Alpine regions for hundreds of years as a method for farmers to call their cows, sheep and goats home and the court in Munich, Germany, had first of all to decide if yodelling could even be classed as music.

Austrian composer Karl Ganzer was the first to write the yodelling tune down in his now famous song the Pearl of Tyrol "Perle Tirols".

But the music producer Egon Frauenberger claimed that he had helped in writing the tune for the world's most famous famous yodel – the "Holla-rä-di-ri, di-ri, di-ri" - and was entitled to a 12 per cent share of the earnings.

The warbling song which was published by Ganzer 60 years ago has been at the top of the folk music charts in the Alpine music scene ever since. Also known as the "Kufsteiner Lied" it has been sold around the world hundreds of thousands of times and also been re-recorded by dozens of other artists like Hansi Hinterseer and DJ Otzi, all of whom have used the famous yodelling line, and paid royalties for it.

The producer had successfully managed to get himself named as co-author, earning him 12 per cent of the royalties, but the court in Munich overturned that decision and backed the family of the composer - and that verdict has now been confirmed by the German High Court.

The court first of all had to decide if it was even allowed for anybody to copyright a yodelling tune and whether it even counted as music.

The court decision means that Frauenberger will no longer be named as co-author and will no longer receive royalties.

Kufstein is a city in Tyrol located along the river Inn, surrounded by mountains in the lower Inn valley near the border with Bavaria, Germany,

Kufstein Burgermeister Martin Krumschnabel said after the verdict was announced that he was pleased that the was now a clear answer on who owns the copyright and that the matter was now settled.

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