Radiohead snubs demand for money from hackers to return stolen music

Thom Yorke of Radiohead performing at Madison Square Garden in New York. The band said rather than pay a ransom, it was releasing the music in full for sale with profits going to British climate activists Extinction Rebellion.
Thom Yorke of Radiohead performing at Madison Square Garden in New York. The band said rather than pay a ransom, it was releasing the music in full for sale with profits going to British climate activists Extinction Rebellion.PHOTO: NYTNS

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - British rock band Radiohead announced plans on Tuesday (June 11) to sell 18 hours of unpublished music and give the proceeds to climate activists after hackers stole the recordings.

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.

They demanded US$150,000 (S$205,000) 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 activists Extinction Rebellion.

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

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

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