Two Belgian composers, and not singer-songwriter R. Kelly, wrote the Michael Jackson hit "You Are Not Alone", according to a Belgian appeals court ruling today.

The 1995 hit, Jackson's last U.S. No. 1, was credited to R. Kelly, who also produced the song. But the appeals court backed a suit by Belgian composers Danny and Eddy van Passel that they were the original writers of the song.

The court said Jackson's song was a clear copy of "If We Can Start All Over," composed by the van Passel brothers two years earlier. It ruled that the brothers are now entitled to all writing royalties R. Kelly generated for the song.

The ruling ends a 12-year legal battle for the composers, who were backed by Belgian authors' rights group SABAM, whose own analysis of the song found that "the largest part of the melody is identical."

Although foreign rights associations are not directly legally bound by the Belgian ruling, SABAM intends to pass it on to rights groups around the world to recover the royalties.

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