Radiohead snubs ransom demand as sells hacked music for climate activists

by Sebastien Malo | @SebastienMalo | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Tuesday, 11 June 2019 22:59 GMT

Radiohead performs on the Pyramid Stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury Festival in Britain, June 23, 2017. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Image Caption and Rights Information

"We're releasing all 18 hours ... in aid of Extinction Rebellion"

By Sebastien Malo

NEW YORK, June 11 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - British rock band Radiohead announced plans on Tuesday to sell 18 hours of unpublished music and give the proceeds to climate activists after hackers stole the recordings and demanded money.

A tape of previously unheard music recorded during the making of their third studio album, "OK Computer", that was released in 1997, was reportedly stolen by hackers last week who demanded $150,000 to return the recordings.

But the band said rather than pay a ransom, it was releasing the music in full for sale with profits going to British climate crisis activists Extinction Rebellion.

"We're releasing all 18 hours ... in aid of Extinction Rebellion," said the band in a Twitter statement signed by its lead guitarist Jonny Greenwood.

The band could not be reached for further comment.

Extinction Rebellion, a campaign group seeking rapid action to curb global warming, rose to prominence after it mobilized thousands of people in a peaceful civil disobedience campaign that brought parts of central London to a standstill in April.

Radiohead said its 18 tracks will sell for 18 pounds ($23) for the next 18 days on Bandcamp, a U.S. website that allows artists to sell their music to fans at their own price.

The sessions titled "MINIDISCS" date from between 1995 to 1998.

(Reporting by Sebastien Malo @sebastienmalo, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers climate change, humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking and property rights. Visit

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.