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Former Linkin Park bassist Kyle Christner filed a lawsuit against the band in November 2023 over writing credits and unpaid royalties from material written in the late ’90s.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District Of California on November 8, where 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”.

Now Linkin Park is moving to dismiss the lawsuit, saying Christner‘s claims are “rife with defects” and questioning why Christner chose to sue the band over 20 years later.

“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’,” said Linkin Park‘s lead counsel Edwin F. McPherson, via Billboard. “He asserts three claims, each of which fails.”

The band further states that Christner failed to identify what songs he claimed to have written. “Defendants cannot reasonably be expected to know how to respond to the [lawsuit] without knowing which copyrights are being addressed,” the complaint reads.

Furthermore, Linkin Park‘s lawyers state that Christner‘s claims are barred by the statute of limitations, and that copyright disputes must be filed within three years. “Defendants repudiated Plaintiff’s purported ownership in any and all of the works mentioned in the [lawsuit] more than three years before Plaintiff filed this lawsuit — and indeed for over two decades.”

They continued: “The Box Set was released in October, 2020; this action was filed on November 8, 2023 — over three years later.”

Christner‘s attorney Maxwell Goss responded in a statement to Billboard, saying: “Mr. Christner made valuable contributions to Linkin Park at a pivotal time for the band. He just wants his creative work acknowledged and compensated.”

A portion of Christner‘s lawsuit states: “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].”

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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