Hackers stole unreleased Radiohead recordings and threatened to release them unless the band paid $150,000, so the band released the recordings instead

Business Insider | Jun 11, 2019, 08.17PM IST

radiohead tom yorke

Jim Dyson/Getty

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke.

  • Unreleased archived recordings from the era of Radiohead's 1997 "OK Computer" album were stolen by hackers who threatened to release the recordings if the band didn't pay a $150,000 ransom. 
  • Instead of paying the ransom, the band released the recordings, which are available for anyone to listen to and buy online. 
  • The proceeds from the recordings, which Radiohead is selling for £18 (about $23) on music platform Bandcamp for 18 days, are going to a climate change organization called Extinction Rebellion. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Radiohead said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that hackers stole archived recordings last week and threatened to release them unless the band paid a $150,000 ransom. 

Instead of paying the ransom, however, the band has now released the archived recordings onto Bandcamp, a music platform where artists can upload their music and set their own prices. The band is even giving fans the option to pay more than the artist's set price. 


Radiohead set a price of £18 - about $23 - for the 18 hours of archived recordings on Bandcamp, which are from around the time of the 1997 album "OK Computer," the band's guitarist Jonny Greenwood wrote in the Facebook post, which was first spotted by Fortune.

The recordings will be available on Bandcamp for 18 days, and Greenwood said that fans can decide for themselves if the band should have paid the ransom. The proceeds from the release on Bandcamp will go to Extinction Rebellion, an organization that addresses climate change, Greenwood said.

Greenwood said that the recordings were "never meant for public consumption," and he downplayed the importance of the recordings. 

"It's only tangentially interesting. And very, very long. Not a phone download," Greenwood wrote. "Rainy out, isn't it though?"

The post has already received thousands of reactions and comments in support of the band's decision not to pay the ransom. 

"A blessing in disguise!" one fan wrote. "Hail to the thief."

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