This is not newsworthy. As far as I can tell they're just running yet another OpenNIC server. I'm not sure why TorrentFreak thought this was interesting -- maybe because it has the word Pirate in it?
I understand your arguments/points and they're valid.
But we should look at this not only from a technical perspective. For example:
* Every mention of .bit helps. People google it, they learn about Namecoin. Few months later they will come back and learn more.
* As they learn about Namecoin, they may use .bit for a home system. If (as you mentioned) OpenNIC stops resolving .bit, that wouldn't necessarily be bad because users happy with it would continue using it (by running a full node, for example).
* As they learn about .bit, they may get interested in Namecoin id's and other features because it adds to user's privacy and frees them from having to register at every site (especially those semi-legal sites).
I think the article is not significant, but (for example) if you search Google News for ".bit" mentions, this is one of 3 mentions in 2015 which are followed by a CoinDesk article from 2013, and then some smaller news from 2013, 2014 and 2015. In August 2015 Google Trend Index was at a record low (5) and in September is 6. Small stuff, but to me that's encouraging.