The perpetrator managed to steal 18 hours’ worth of unreleased material recorded during the band’s 1997 OK Computer sessions, and was reportedly asking for $150,000 to return the haul.
But on learning about the incident, and the subsequent ransom demand, the five band members decided to scupper the hacker’s chance of a payday by making the recordings available for download on music website Bandcamp.
For the next 18 days, anyone can pay 18 British pounds (about $23) for the trove, with all proceeds going to climate-action group Extinction Rebellion.
Radiohead lead guitarist Jonny Greenwood took to Twitter on Tuesday, June 11 to confirm the hack and reveal the band’s response.
“We got hacked last week – someone stole Thom’s minidisc archive from around the time of OK Computer, and reportedly demanded $150,000 on threat of releasing it,” Greenwood wrote.
So for 18 pounds you can find out if we should have paid that ransom.”