The Yahoo! yodeler is crying foul.
Wylie Gustafson, whose Yahoo yodel captured the freewheeling spirit of the popular Internet portal in TV and radio ads, has filed a $5 million lawsuit, claiming he has not been paid for the continued use of his voice.
Gustafson, founder of the Wylie & the Wild West country band, said in a statement Thursday that he was hired in 1996 to create and record the signature yodel for Yahoo!'s first television commercial.
He was paid $590 for his performance with the understanding his yodel would only be used for that specific commercial, he said. The company never told him his stylized vocal arc would be used in thousands of subsequent commercials, he said.
''I tried to resolve the matter with Yahoo! informally for over three years without success,'' Gustafson said. ''I even sent a copy of my lawsuit to Yahoo! before filing it, but Yahoo! never responded to either me or my attorney.''
A Yahoo spokeswoman said the company has a policy of not discussing specific legal issues.
News source: SiliconValley.com