A bassist has filed a lawsuit against Linkin Park over credit and unpaid royalties on more than 20 songs, as reported by Billboard.
In a complaint filed in Los Angeles on Wednesday (November 8th), Kyle Christner claimed he has “never been paid a penny” for his work on songs included in the Hybrid Theory 20th anniversary box set released by Linkin Park in 2020. According to Christner, one of the band’s representatives contacted him last April and said he was owed royalties for songs included in the collection. “You get mechanical royalties for 3 demos and the 6-song Hybrid Theory EP that you performed on,” the email allegedly stated.
Christner said in the lawsuit that he believes his work appears on “more than twenty songs” in the 2020 re-release. However, when he tried to reach back out to the person who contacted him, they “went dark.”
“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,” the lawsuit alleged (via Rolling Stone). Christner also claimed he helped compose many of Linkin Park’s songs during their early days.
Christner is requesting that the court decide who authored and owns the songs in dispute, as well as an accounting of all the profits generated by the tracks. Christner is also seeking back royalties, interest, and attorney’s fees. Linkin Park’s living members Mike Shinoda, Rob Bourdon, Brad Delson, and Joseph Hahn are listed as the defendants in the lawsuit alongside Machine Shop Entertainment LLC and Warner Records.
As laid out in the complaint, Christner considered himself a member of Linkin Park in 1999 and played a showcase with them for Warner that ultimately led to a record deal, but the other band members allegedly said he was out of the group in October of that year. According to the lawsuit, however, Shinoda praised Christner’s bass solo on “Could Have Been” as “gnarly” during a Twitch stream following the release of the box set.