Many hours ago you already could download* the empyrean album from John Frusciante. However in this case I guess it will not affect nothing on sales ( I mean negativitly), mainly because the fans (or appreciators) of John Frusciante will buy the CD. Maybe this "release" can reach more people about the Frusciante's Art (A.K.A. The Empyrean) and thougths.
The same entity (called Internet) besides share commons news and "things" also can confuse and "generate news", looking for the latest interview that JF gives ( january 2009, music radar) some people are sharing news about the end of chili peppers or expeculating the relationship inside the band and a little detail wasn't showed the official news from JF and RHCP is "we are on hiatus, no plan... ".
The Internet's power is bigger than we can imagine...
The Internet creates some "heroes" as TV.
But one distinction is very clear between the Internet and TV, the "unknow" people can do something on Internet but not in the TV. (or almost never).
Then at the same time: Internet can help the creative minds but also can serves as bad dominator.
ps: I still think that buy CD's is one of the ways to support your artist.
* you could, but you should not according with the actual laws (copyright one).