Coolfer has a good overview of the final outcome of the Fiona Apple Extraordinary Machine debacle. The summary: the press went off about Sony holding back Fiona Apple's album without any evidence, the album got leaked, people went nuts about it on the internet, I believe "information wants to be free" was said at some point, over three grand was donated to freefiona.com, and everyone hated on the evil, evil record company. Neither Sony or Fiona offered comment. And it turns out it wasn't true. Fiona herself was holding back the album and has re-recorded most of it.
So the whole thing magically transforms into an evil record company red herring and a lot of free PR for Fiona's new record. Nice!