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LINKIN PARK Sued By Ex-Bassist Over Unpaid Royalties & Songwriting Credits

The 20th-anniversary box set edition of Linkin Park's 2000 album Hybrid Theory is in question.

Linkin Park 2000
Photo by James Minchin III

Linkin Park is being sued by bassist Kyle Christner over writing credits and unpaid royalties from material written in the late '90s.

According to reports by Bloomberg Law and Rolling Stone, the lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District Of California on November 8. Christner said he is a former member of Linkin Park who "collaborated on and recorded numerous songs with the band." Moreover, Christner claimed that the bonus material contained in the 20th-anniversary box set edition of Linkin Park's 2000 album Hybrid Theory features his writing and playing on "more than twenty songs", including a previously-unreleased track called "Could Have Been".

"In fact, Christner appears to have played on at least tracks 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 of Forgotten Demos, tracks 1, 2, 7, 13, 14, 16, 17 of LPU Rarities, and track 7 of B-Side Rarities, as well as the Hybrid Theory EP, [within the box set]" reads the lawsuit.

Christner claims he "has never been paid a penny for his work with Linkin Park, nor has he been properly credited, even as [his former bandmates] have benefitted from his creative efforts," further stating that Linkin Park removed his name as far back as the 2001 "fan club edition" reissue of the Hybrid Theory.

The lawsuit claims that Christner was originally informed his bass parts were replaced, which he discovered later to not be the case: "Though Christner was once under the misimpression that his bass parts were re-recorded on the EP after he left the band, he has, upon closer review, identified his bass playing on the edition of the EP included in the box set," reads a portion of the lawsuit.

Linkin Park members Mike Shinoda, Rob Bourdon, Brad Delson, and Joseph Hahn are listed as defendants alongside Machine Shop and Warner Records.

Christner is listed as a session and touring musicians who played for Linkin Park between 1998 and 1999 as they changed their name from Xero to Hybrid Theory. This is also the time when vocalist Chester Bennington joined the band, replacing Mark Wakefield who left in 1998.

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