Hackers wanted $150,000 for unreleased demos, Radiohead gave fans so much more.
Above video: Kevin Mitnick - the world's most famous hacker
UK alt-rock legends Radiohead have revealed that earlier in the week a hacker stole 18 hours of unreleased demos from lead singer Thom Yorke.
In a post on their official Facebook, guitarist Johnny Greenwood explained that the hacker was demanding $150,000 for their return under threat that they would be released to the world.
Instead of bowing to the hackers demand, Radiohead came up with a work-around much to the delight of fans.
“Instead of complaining - much - or ignoring it, we’re releasing all 18 hours on Bandcamp in aid of Extinction Rebellion,” Greenwood said.
“Just for the next 18 days. So for £18 you can find out if we should have paid that ransom.”
Extinction Rebellion, a political collective dedicated to forcing governments to act on the climate crisis, expressed their gratitude on their official website following the announcement.
“From the bottom of our hearts and on behalf of the Extinction Rebellion movement we thank Radiohead for supporting us so that we can continue to build our already far reaching and powerful movement of non violent civil disobedience,” the statement said.
Words are inadequate but actions do change the world.
Fan are praising the move on social media.
The recordings were from around the time of 1997’s ‘OK Computer’ and were stored on a digital MiniDisc archive - an outdated technology similar to a CD. The logistics of the hack prompted a notoriously recluse Yorke to get involved on Twitter.
Fans are thrilled with the content released with includes a full band version of ‘True Love Waits’, ‘Exit Music (For A Film) with alternate lyrics and several entirely new unreleased songs;.
Radiohead is perhaps the worst band to target with threats of releasing their music for free considering their track record of doing just that themselves.
The release of their 2007 album ‘In Rainbows’ made waves worldwide after the band offered a digital download to fans via a pay-what-you-want scheme. They were the first major label band to do so at the time.
Yorke took it one step further when he teamed up with BitTorrent, an infamous peer-to-peer sharing site, to release his 2013 solo album ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes’.
Listen to the recordings here.