After an unnamed hacker stole 18 previously-unreleased recordings from files owned by lead singer Thom Yorke, the band announced that it would not pay the $150,000 the hacker was demanding for ransom. The hacker then demanded $150,000 not to release the material.
However, instead of giving in to the crooks' demands, Radiohead made a decision to release all of the 18 hours of stolen content themselves to benefit charity and put them up for sale on Bandcamp, with all the proceeds to go to Extinction Rebellion.
When you get hacked and held to ransom you can either cough up the cash or call the hackers' bluff, and Radiohead opted to do the latter.
The minidisc tracks were recorded by frontman Thom Yorke, with a total of 18 tracks running to just less than 17 hours.
The statement also confirms that the band never had any plans for the public to hear the sessions, though some of the tracks were on the cassette re-release of OK Computer. My archived mini discs from 1995-1998 (?).
Greenwood describes the sessions as "only tangentially interesting, and very, very long".
The description of the large 1.8GB collection contained on Radiohead's Bandcamp page further deemphasizes the importance of the material, contending its appeal extends only "until we all get bored and move on".
Other famous supporters of Extinction Rebellion include Dame Emma Thompson, former Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, authors Philip Pullman and Margaret Atwood and political writer Noam Chomsky.
Hackers steal Radiohead demos circa OK Computer and threaten to release them unless they're paid off.