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Linkin Park Settles Lawsuit Filed By Ex-Bassist Over Band’s Debut Album

Linkin Park Settles Lawsuit Filed By Ex-Bassist Over Band’s Debut Album

Linkin Park has reached a settlement to end a lawsuit that accused the band of refusing to pay royalties to an ex-bassist who briefly played with the band in the late 1990s.

In a statement issued on Friday, the band said it had reached an “amicable resolution” with Kyle Christner, who sued the band last year over claims that he had “never been paid a penny” for contributions he made during several months he was in Linkin Parkin 1999.

The dispute was sparked by an anniversary re-release of Linkin Park’s smash hit 2000 debut album Hybrid Theory, which holds the distinction as the best-selling rock album of the 21st century. Christner claimed he had contributed some of the material released on the anniversary box set – a claim confirmed by the band in Friday’s statement.

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“Kyle is a very talented musician who made valuable contributions to Linkin Park at a pivotal time in 1999,” Linkin Park wrote in Friday’s statement. “He performed with the band in several shows and many record label showcases. Kyle helped write and performed on many songs from that era, including some of the songs on the Hybrid Theory EP.”

The statement was accompanied by a joint filing in court seeking to formally end the lawsuit, signed by attorneys for both Christner and for Mike Shinoda and other Linkin Park members. Christner’s attorneys did not return a request for comment on Monday.

Christner sued in November, claiming he had been a member of the band for several months in 1999 until he was “abruptly informed” that he had been fired shortly before the band signed a record deal with Warner Records. He accused the band of continuing to profit from songs he helped create, while effectively erasing his involvement.

“Christner has never been paid a penny for his work with Linkin Park, nor has he been properly credited, even as defendants have benefitted from his creative efforts,” his lawyers wrote at the time.

In addition to Shinoda, the lawsuit also named Linkin Park’s other living members (Rob Bourdon, Brad Delson and Joseph Hahn), as well as its business entity, Machine Shop Entertainment, and the band’s label, Warner Records.

In particular, Christener pointed to the re-release of Hybrid Theory. He argued that the special 2020 box set included several songs to which he had contributed, including a never-before-released demo track that has amassed 949,000 views on YouTube.

Before Friday’s settlement, Linkin Park had been battling to dismiss the case. In a filing last month, the band argued that the case had been filed far too late and that the statute of limitations on such claims had “long since passed.”

“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,” the band’s lawyers wrote at the time.

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