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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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31.

seeking the truth    

Michael hasn't released it! Stop blaming him it was SONY - and he hated Sony! see this video where he talks of how he doesn't like Sony: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW1T1DZdWrA

Sony just wanted a song to match the movie so trawled through demos he would not have wanted released to find one that contained the lyrics 'this is it' sad eh - don't blame Michael blame pathetic Sony.

1751 days ago
32.

anniam    

This is sonys fault dont go blaming Michael.Michael would not have released this song the way it is he would have made it sound better?hell mend sony for releasing it.This is what happens when you mess with Michael.AEG you did not have the right to release this song either the only songs you should have released was the songs he was going to sing at the concerts?MJJ.fan

1751 days ago
33.

Mandy    

This is stupid, this Anka whatever whom I have NEVER heard of.. sounds like a wanna be MJ anyways. He sucks, bottom line. He should be sued by the estate for trying to "mimic" MJ's voice... seriously wanna be Prince/MJ money hungry idiot.

1751 days ago
34.

Anna    

MIKE HELPED WRITE THE SONG SO SHE HAS NO RIGHT TO PURSUE LEGAL ACTION. IF ANYONE GETS SUED IT SONY AND AEG. MJ IS INNOCENT. SHE' SHOULD BE LUCKY SHE WAS GIVEN THE SONG, BEING AS THOUGH MIKE HELPED WRITE IT. MIKE SINGS IT WAY BETTER ANYWAY.

1751 days ago
35.

Knyte    

15. Are you kidding, rip-off? - I really dont think so....Michael Jackson broke records and changed music for the better, his helped many unfortunate people and you criticize him for Sony releasing a song he had not approved?

15. I ask what have you achieved, and what have u done for others?

1751 days ago
36.

A.B.    

Like Kitty and Diane are saying - Michael Jackson was not the one releasing it, Sony was. He made new lyrics and put it in the vault.

1751 days ago
37.

Kimberly    

aww michael sings it better so whats the problem?

Love you Michael

I know, You love me more.

1751 days ago
38.

just sayen    

ummmmm why is he blaming/after MJJ who is in a far better place he so deserves to be then this rats hole of haters, and mind game playas when it was Sony & AEG who released it & not MJJ?
Refocus on the truth please & stop trying to distract the fans who love him.

1751 days ago
39.

Saddenend    

OMG -

Michael Jackson AND Paul Anka are listed as the songwriters.

BMI has also Anka & MIJAC publishing as the publishers too.

Anka - get a life & get your mechanical license from Sony and sit back & collect the royalties.

1751 days ago
40.

Cali MJ Fan    

WAIT A MINUTE!!!!

If Michael CO-WROTE it-- he can't be called a thief. His version is a DEMO.

But more importantly, MICHAEL DIDN'T RELEASE IT!!!

Sony did! It would seem Anka has legal recourse against SONY-- not Michael!

But explain this part-- if Michael helped write it, then he held some entitlement to the song, right? Or if SaFire was given the song, does she now hold the rights?

1751 days ago
41.

MADRADDER    

Whoa! Busted! And I like the first version better than the new one! Oh well, MJ's estate will pay out, yet again.

1751 days ago
42.

Justwatching    

This is it / Michael Jackson.
Type of Work: Music
Registration Number / Date: PAu000668598 / 1984-11-16
Title: This is it / Michael Jackson.
Description: 1 sound cassette.
Copyright Claimant: Mijac Music
Date of Creation: 1980
Authorship on Application: words & music: Michael Jackson.

Names: Jackson, Michael
Mijac Music

1751 days ago
43.

MJ stole the song    

in the early 1990s, Sa-Fire also recorded the Michael Jackson/Paul Anka written song "I Never Heard" featured on the CD.

1751 days ago
44.

Solaera    

I seriously doubt that Paul Anka is "trying to cash in" on MJ's fame. He has been writing and producing popular music for himself and other artists since the fifties and still works today. He is a wealthy and successful man in his own right. To write Anka off as a money-grubbing famewhore is not only ridiculous but completely unfair.

1751 days ago
45.

Saddenend    

Correct, Michael co-wrote and co-owns the song with Paul Anka.

So how could MJ rip-off on something he helped create & co-owns??????



_____________

39. WAIT A MINUTE!!!!

If Michael CO-WROTE it-- he can't be called a thief. His version is a DEMO.

But more importantly, MICHAEL DIDN'T RELEASE IT!!!

Sony did! It would seem Anka has legal recourse against SONY-- not Michael!

But explain this part-- if Michael helped write it, then he held some entitlement to the song, right? Or if SaFire was given the song, does she now hold the rights?

Posted at 5:21PM on Oct 12th 2009 by Cali MJ Fan

Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2009/10/12/paul-anka-michael-jackson-this-is-it-I-never-heard/3#comments#ixzz0Tl7Z9bve

1751 days ago
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