Linkin Park Settle Lawsuit With Former Bassist Over Unpaid Royalties

April 1, 2024

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Linkin Park‘s legal battle with former bassist Kyle Christner has ended.

In a statement Friday, the band shared that it had reached “an amicable resolution” with the bass guitarist who claimed in a November lawsuit that he contributed to several demos and tracks that the group released on a reissue of Hybrid Theory.

“We are pleased to announce that we have reached an amicable resolution with bass guitarist Kyle Christner,” said Linkin Park in a statement obtained by Rolling Stone. “Kyle is a very talented musician who made valuable contributions to Linkin Park at a pivotal time in 1999.”

“He performed with the band in several shows and many record label showcases,” the statement continued. “Kyle helped write and performed on many songs from that era, including some of the songs on the Hybrid Theory EP.”

Although Christner wasn’t featured on the 12 tracks originally released on Hybrid Theory, he claimed that he contributed to “more than twenty songs,” including three demos and the six-song Hybrid Theory EP, which the group released as part of a 20th anniversary edition of Hybrid Theory in 2020.

On March 6, the band’s lawyers had filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit stating that the deadline had long passed to sue Linkin Park for the unpaid royalties.

“Plaintiff claims that defendants… owe him money because he was a member of the band for, at most, eight months, 25 years ago, and was not paid for his ‘contributions,’” Linkin Park’s lawyer Edwin F. McPherson wrote in the motion to dismiss. “He asserts three claims, each of which fails.”

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Linkin Park members Mike Shinoda — who praised Christner’s work on the reissue track “Could Have Been” during a 2020 livestream — Rob Bourdon, Brad Delson, and Joseph Hahn are listed as defendants alongside Machine Shop and Warner Records.

Under copyright law, Linkin Park’s lawyers claim, Christner had three years to file a claim regarding his work on Hybrid Theory. That deadline passed long ago in regard to the 2000 album itself. However, just counting the time from the 20th anniversary edition of Hybrid Theory in October 2020, while Christner’s lawsuit seemed to be a month too late.

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