Swedish daily Aftonbladet has been under intense fire for naming its new free daily Punkt SE (“dot SE”). The internet portal Spray has been the owner of the domain punkt.se since 1996 and Stiftelsen för Internetinfrastruktur, the foundation that overlooks the Swedish top domain .SE has not taken lightly on the intrusion. In an article in Svenska Dagbladet the foundation writes that Aftonbladet are mooching off the good reputation of the internet and demands that the paper is called something else. The reply from Niklas Silow, chief editor of .SE, raises more questions than it answers:
“Ja, vi renommésnyltar. Men inte på den svenska toppdomänen .se eller Stiftelsen för internetinfrastruktur. För när det gäller nyheter, journalistik eller tidningar har inte topp-domänen något renommé att snylta på. Det har däremot Aftonbladet och jag kan inte tänka mig ett bättre varumärke för en gratistidning att renommésnylta på.”
In short, what he says is that the top domain .se does not even have a reputation for news, journalism or newspapers (!). Eh, I beg to differ. Last time I looked, I noticed several Swedish papers that delivered news via this new thing called the internet. Yes, it’s true.
In his last sentence, Silow opens for a compromise and welcomes a dialogue.
Furthermore, Bonnier still owns the publishing rights for the magazine Se, which it published in the 1970s and Bonnier have threatened Aftonbladet with a law suit.
So today when the paper was launched we can see that Aftonbladet has removed the dot from the logo and the daily called Punkt SE is now ironically without dot. This seems to be a last minute decision since the branded clothes of the distributors still carry the old logo, with the dot.
It remains to be seen if this will be enough to silence the critics.
Update: Pressens Tidning, Martin Jönsson and Beta Alfa 2.0 have already commented.