Do pirate sites have rules? Apparently so, according to Beta News. It tells us that sites like Pirate Bay have “fairly strict rules dictating capturing, formatting and naming releases” and “astoundingly lengthy standards documents covering standard and high definition releases of TV shows.” These rules “mandate” a switch from MP4 to the open Matroska (MKV) format as of April 10, so they’re stricter than the Pirates of the Caribbean.
I have no love for pirate sites. They play up their reputation for making stuff from big, evil, litigious companies available, but they’ll grab anything they can get their hands on, including music by small, independent artists who are having a hard enough time making a living. A couple of sites have even grabbed my filk recordings, which have no market beyond a couple of hundred people. But I’m amused that pirates have their own strict rules, and a move anywhere toward open formats can’t be a bad thing.