Radiohead Release Hacked Music, All Proceeds Go to Climate Change Activists

The band have turned an ugly situation on its head, by using it to support a cause they have previously backed on social media.
Chris Young

Radiohead announced today that they were hacked. 

Specifically, the band's singer Thom Yorke had his MiniDisk archive, holding hours of unreleased music from the OK Computer album era, stolen and held for a ransom of $150,000 last week.

What did they do?

Instead of meeting the unnamed hacker's demands, the band has decided to release the music for sale, and give all proceeds to Extinction Rebellion, an activist group focused on pressuring governments to take action on climate change.

Radiohead's announcement

Radiohead guitarist, Jonny Greenwood, announced the hack on the band's Facebook page and confirmed that the perpetrator was asking for $150,000.

The 18-hour long release will be available for the next 18 days. 

Radiohead have been innovators of the LP release in the past with their In Rainbows LP pay-what-you-want model in 2007, but this new release is something they definitely didn't plan for.

Who are Extinction Rebellion?

Extinction Rebellion is a group of climate change activists aimed at raising awareness and instigating action on the climate crisis. They carried out a mass protest throughout London on 15th April, have held naked protests in UK parliament, and have a following, and different branches worldwide.

They have three main demands. Namely, that governments tell the truth on climate change by declaring it an emergency, that they then act according to the demands of this emergency, and that they allow a citizen's assembly on climate and ecological justice.

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The activist group is no stranger to controversy. More recently, a planned drone protest blocking flights from Heathrow Airport has even caused divisions within the group.

However, it's working. That's according to Guardian columnist, Mathew Todd, who cites a YouGov poll detailing the spike in public concern over the climate crisis and saying it was directly related to the actions of climate change activists like Extinction Rebellion and the millions of children led by Greta Thunberg.

Extinction Rebellion thanked Radiohead for allocating all proceeds to their cause, calling it a show of "unprecedented support."  

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