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Paul Anka Claims 'This Is It' is a Rip-Off

10/12/2009 5:58 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

If you think Michael Jackson's "This Is It" sounds familiar, it's because the song is a rip-off that was released nearly two decades ago by another artist ... and the man making this claim is none other than music legend Paul Anka.



Anka tells TMZ in 1983, he wrote a song with Jackson called "I Never Heard" -- and the demo of the song was recorded in Anka's studio in Carmel, CA. Anka says he took the tape to a studio in Hollywood to put the finishing touches on it for Anka's duets album, "Walk a Fine Line." Anka claims Jackson -- who was just blowing up at the time with "Thriller" -- got a big head and "stole the tapes" from the studio.

Anka tells us he called the lawyers who repped both he and Jackson -- ironically one of them was John Branca -- and threatened them with a lawsuit if he didn't get the tapes back. Anka got them back but insists Jackson made a copy of the tapes and used the track with his voice from "I Never Heard" -- and simply retitled it, "This Is It."

Anka gave "I Never Heard" to another artist -- Safire -- who recorded it in 1990.

We called Sony Music who released "This Is It" ... no comment so far.

Anka tells us he's talking with his lawyers about his legal options.

297 COMMENTS

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Previous 15 Comments | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20
286.

tgallady    

Paul Anka stinks.

1785 days ago
287.

Tick tock    

If the song was a co-write, then Paul Anka is entitled to 1/2 royalties, assuming it was a 50/50 split with music and lyrics. Nothing against Michael. The business of music (Intellectual) copyrights has become increasingly difficult. Hopefully there is a clear copyright filed and Anka can pursue his legal rights to a song that is clearly the same song if he is was cowriter with MJ. You can't fault Michael for it's release posthumously, but copyright would had to have been filed for it's legal remake/release if he were alive. The same applies after his death.

1547 days ago
288.

joy zerba    

You guys are idiots...Paul Anka and Michael wrote the song together.

1547 days ago
289.

life    

this is a test

1546 days ago
290.

mysteria333    

DEAR MR. ANKA..I HAVE JUST PUT ALL YOUR MUSIC I OWN IN THE TRASH. HOW DARE YOU POP UP AT THIS LATE DATE MAKING SUCH A CLAIM. GO BACK INTO THE WOODWORK WHICH YOU CRAWLED OUT OF... AND IT MIGHT DO YOU GOOD TO REMEMBER THAT MICHAEL HAS OVER A BILLION FANS. SO WHEN YOU SPEAK AGAINST HIM, IT COST YOU YOUR FANS. YOU CERTAINLY DONT HAVE A GOOD MARKETING MIND. IF YOU DID YOU'D BE SAYING THE KINDEST THINGS YOU CAN ABOUT MICHAEL...YOU JUST LOST A LOYAL FAN....EXCUSE ME...FANS...MY FAMILY IS BANNING YOU AS WELL!!...RETHINK YOUR STRATEGY...BE WISE. MEANWHILE I WILL PRAY FOR YOU AND ALL WHO HAVE CRAWLED OUT OF WOODWORK WITH CLAIMS AGAINST MICHAEL..SHAME ON YOU ! ! !

1504 days ago
291.

mysteria333    

THE ONLY RP-OFF IS THE FACT THAT MICHAEL IS NOT THE ONE SINGING ..THIS IS IT...NOR IS HE THE REAL MICHAEL IN THE VIDEO AND I CAN PROVE IT...SO PAUL LEAVE MICHAEL ALONE ! ! ! RANDY PHILLIPS IS WHO YOU HAVE A BEEF WITH...THAT IS IF YOUR CLAIM IS EVEN LEGITIMATE. WHY WAIT TILL THIS LATE DATE TO MAKE SUCH A CLAIM???? FIND SOME OTHER WAY TO GET YOUR NAME BACK OUT IN THE PUBLIC....GOD BLESS

1504 days ago
292.

Brenda    

did MJ get his 50% of the money when the song was released by Safire's and Paul Anka.they did make it together, didn't they?

1504 days ago
293.

raggamuffin    

PAUL
YOU ARE A OLD WASHED UP PIECE OF CRAP AND YOU WERE NEVER ABLE TO SING. I CAN NOT BELIEVE YOU WOULD STOOP SO LOW. YOU MUST BE BROKE AND HUNGRY OR JUST IN DYER NEED OF ATTENTION. GO AND CROAK SOMEWHERE YOU DIRTY FILTY OLD MAN.

1504 days ago
294.

long    

My goodness! how can we know the truth? MJ is not here anymore! We need to see the other side of the story. How can MJ defend himself? This is just another crap! people just wanted to cash in!! They just wanted money! They don't have any respect at all! RIP MJ

1504 days ago
295.

BH    

Paul Anka just wanted publicity and money. Micael has been dealing with this garbage all his life. Please let him RIP. Love you and miss you Michael.

1499 days ago
296.

kevin    

First of all safire never said michael stole the tape if anything she was the only one protecting him so u people better get your **** right also michael was alive when the song was given to her.

1426 days ago
297.

kevin    

safire is a great artist in her own right .. she contribute alot to the latin community .. she never said michael stole the tape that was all paul anka , also lets not forget when safire recorded the song michael was very much ALIVE so he knew its was recorded by her they both agree to give it to her so get your fact correct . Plus she was the only one who spoke up for michael .. not sony not his family and not even paul so get your facts straight . this is sony fought.

1283 days ago
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