In Flames new album is not slated for release till Feb 3 in Europe, but I have seen it available on various torrent sites and have heard it......
It gets leaked. I've gotten more than a few albums before they were actually for sale.
Lots of copies manufactured\distributed before the release to the public
(remember how hard they tried to keep harry potter from being pre-released?)
It gets leaked.
That is what started the furor over Napster.
Someone was leaking Metallica's new song "I disapear", before it was even finished, and they got pretty pissed off.
They were leaking unfinished versions of the song "I Dissapear" that Metallica was working on in 2000 for the Mission Impossible soundtrack. St. Anger wasn't started until late 2002/early 2003.
Seek and you shall find.
And many, many more.