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By Bruce Sussman
Tue | Jun 11, 2019 | 11:06 AM PDT

Hackers lose.

Radiohead fans win.

It's an odd tale that could possibly make for good song lyrics.

Hacker tries to blackmail Radiohead

A hacker attempted to blackmail Radiohead after stealing music tracks from lead singer Thom Yorke's computer.

Pay up, or I publish, was essentially the message.

The group changed the tune on that one by making a surprising announcement on its blog: 

"We got hacked last week, someone stole Tom's mini-disc archives from around the time of Ok Computer [the band's 1997 album which sold nearly 8 million copies] and reportedly demanded $150,000 on threat of releasing it.

So instead of complaining—much—or ignoring it, we're releasing all 18 hours of it on Bandcamp in aid of Extinction Rebellion."


Bandcamp is a music discovery site where you can find "amazing new music and directly support the artists who make it."

In this case, however, the band says the £18 price for the 18 mini-discs which were hacked will raise money for a climate protest group called Extinction Rebellion.

Radiohead posted this note on the hacked tracks download page:

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

Let's see how long that takes.

Fans react to  Radiohead hacking response

For now, Radiohead fans seem to be loving the band's decision to not pay hackers and instead raise money for a cause with these tracks, which were never intended to be released.

Evidence of this comes from when lead guitarist and keyboardist Johnny Greenwood tweeted the news.  Here is how fans replied:



Radiohead is certainly not the first in entertainment to have creative content stolen. Here are a few additional entertainment industry hacks which come to mind:

Hackers Release 'Game of Thrones' Episode
Leaked Email Claims HBO Offered Hackers $250,000
'Orange Is the New Black' Hacking Details