Radiohead refuses to pay $150,000 ransom for ‘hacked’ recordings, releases them instead

Radiohead refuses to pay $150,000 ransom for 'hacked' recordings, releases them instead

How do you stop a hacker from making a fortune out of the files they have stolen from you? Files that thousands of people are probably desperate to own?

Simple. You make the files readily available to anyone on the internet to access. After all, there’s no way the hacker will be able to demand a sizeable ransom from you now.

That’s exactly how Radiohead has scuppered the plans of attempted extortionist who stole previously unreleased recordings and alternative takes made during the making of the band’s classic album OK Computer in 1997.

Lead singer Thom Yorke announced the limited release of the recordings on Bandcamp would be in support of international conservation movement Extinction Rebellion.

we’ve been hacked
my archived mini discs from 1995-1998(?)
it’s not v interesting
there’s a lot of it

if you want it, you can buy the whole lot here
18 minidisks for £18
the proceeds will go to Extinction Rebellion

as it’s out there
it may as well be out there
until we all get bored
and move on

MinidiscsTwo of the Minidiscs containing the Radiohead recordings.

Lead guitarist Jonny Greenwood confirmed what had happened on Twitter:

We got hacked last week – someone stole Thom’s minidisk archive from around the time of OK Computer and reportedly demanded $150,000 on threat of releasing it.

So instead of complaining – much – or ignoring it, we’re releasing all 18 hours on Bandcamp in aid of Extinction Rebellion. Just for the next 18 days. So for £18 you can find out if we should have paid that ransom.

Never intended for public consumption (though some clips did reach the cassette in the OK Computer reissue) it’s only tangentially interesting. And very very long. Not a phone download. Rainy out, isn’t it though?

(As a fellow resident of Oxford, I can confirm that Jonny is right that it’s quite rainy at the moment.)

Ardent Radiohead fans interested in the band’s archaeology will no doubt be delighted that the creep’s plan has unravelled for their benefit. Of course, to really enjoy the recordings in an authentic fashion you’ll copy your favourites amongst the high fidelity FLAC downloads onto a C90 cassette tape.


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