A new "Starbucks" has opened up in Los Angeles. Ordinarily, that wouldn't be news, but this isn't an ordinary Starbucks -- it's plain old dumb.
In Los Angeles neighborhood Los Feliz, a coffee shop named "Dumb Starbucks" opened over the weekend. Everything is a mirror image of the regular Starbucks, except the two aren't affiliated.
Go buy some @dumbstarbucks before dumb lawyers get to it pic.twitter.com/67E2zq0myf
— Mark McCune (@MarkMcCune) February 8, 2014
How did they get away with the concept without being sued? Parody law.
According to their FAQ, which was posted on Forbes, “Although we are a fully functioning coffee shop, for legal reasons Dumb Starbucks needs to be categorized as a work of parody art. So, in the eyes of the law, our 'coffee shop' is actually an art gallery and the 'coffee' you’re buying is considered the art. But that’s for our lawyers to worry about. All you need to do is enjoy our delicious coffee!”
"Dumb Starbucks" looks like the real thing, has the same logo and even sells the same drinks as the real thing, only with the word "dumb" placed in front -- a loophole which they believe protects them from legal issues under parody law, CBS Los Angeles notes. The real Starbucks told KCAL9′s Cristy Fajardo that the company was looking into the situation.
According to one patron, the lines to get into the "Dumb" coffee shop are up to an hour long -- and the coffee isn't nearly as good as the real thing. "This is pretty awful,” an unnamed patron told KCAL9 of their latte.
Here are people waiting to get into the coffee shop:
"Dumb Starbucks" art gallery in Los Feliz calls itself fair use, has long coffee lines. Photo credit: @lisaborodkin pic.twitter.com/wx3mS0M1WO
— Lisa Borodkin (@lisaborodkin) February 9, 2014
Advertising ploy or pop art piece? Either way, there's a big dumb crowd. #dumbstarbucks #smartbanksy? pic.twitter.com/oiF1YeXwiX
— Andrew Rutledge (@jandrewrutledge) February 9, 2014
Check out these "Dumb" CDs:
And here's the drink menu. Guess we'll see how long this lasts before Starbucks' lawyers get to it.
Enjoy our full menu of coffees and cold drinks pic.twitter.com/wPacrEEH9k
— Dumb Starbucks (@dumbstarbucks) February 8, 2014
UPDATE: February 10, 11:00 a.m. -- On Monday morning, a Starbucks spokesperson told The Huffington Post that the company is aware of the Dumb Starbucks store. "It is not affiliated with Starbucks," the spokesperson wrote in an email. "We are evaluating next steps and while we appreciate the humor, they cannot use our name, which is a protected trademark."