Paul Anka: 'This Is Mine'

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Paul Anka: 'This Is Mine'

Tue Oct 13, 2009 @ 02:40PM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Wp_iPhone2 These days, anybody with an iPhone who is dying to know the name of some mysterious song on the radio can open up an app called Shazam to identify the track.

Maybe that's what the executors of Michael Jackson's estate should have done before releasing the posthumous single, "This Is It."

Had they done so, they would have realized that the song was co-written by Paul Anka and was recorded by an R&B singer named Safire for a track released in 1991 called "I Never Heard."

Evidently, in the rush to capitalize on Jackson after his death, the estate failed to do its due diligence.

Anka says he was not contacted about the use of the song, nor given proper writing credit, and he and his lawyers are promising that "they will be sued if they don't correct it."

John McClain, a record executive who is one of the executors of the estate, called Anka to acknowledge his co-authorship and promise "all due credit and royalties."

Quick negotiation between the lawyers may stave off a potential lawsuit, but identifying a copyright target: There's an app for that.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to

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