Everything About LA's Dumb Starbucks: A Parody Art Plus Coffee Shop

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By Johnlee Varghese | February 10, 2014 9:07 PM EST

Dumb Starbuck in Los Feliz,Los Angeles/Twitter
Dumb Starbuck in Los Feliz,Los Angeles/Twitter

Since Friday night, there has been an increasing buzz online with people looking up 'Dumb Starbucks.' It is not some online video, but rather a parody art shop selling coffee. 

"Dumb Starbucks" located in Los Feliz, Los Angeles has attracted hundreds of customers and most of them are piqued by the 'Dumb' take on Starbucks. Everyone wants to know what is so Dumb about Starbucks, or what is Dumb Starbucks?

Twitter picture posted of long queue out Dumb Starbucks

— Frank Stoltze (@StoltzeFrankly) February 9, 2014

It goes without saying that the Dumb Starbucks has found a classic marketing strategy. Their name itself piques and generates so-much interest that most people out of sheer curiosity want to visit the coffee at least once.

And everyone wants to know how is it legal? Is using another company's name legal? Or for that matter calling them Dumb legal? 

Well, if you happen to visit the Dumb Starbucks, in all probability you will figure out too, why is it not that bad an idea to call Starbucks dumb. 

The owners of Dumb Starbucks claim: " Dumb Starbucks is not affiliated to any way with Starbucks." Well it so happens that the proprietors of Dumb Starbucks have found a legal way of running their establishment, as "it is legal under parody law."

Still wondering how? Here is the explanation by the Dumb Starbucks - " by adding 'dumb' we are technically making fun of Starbucks, which allows us to use their trademarks under a law known as 'fair use'. Fair use is a doctrine that permits use of copyrighted material in a parodical work without permission from the rights holder. It's the same law that allows Weird Al Yankovic to use the music from Michael Jackson's Beat It in his parody song 'Eat it.'"

" 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 are buying is considered the art," the Dumb Starbucks FAQ adds.

Now the mother of all questions - Does Dumb Starbucks think, the real Starbucks as dumb? " Not at all. In fact, we love starbucks and look up to them as role models. Unfortunately ,the only way to use their intellectual property under fair use is if we are making fun of them. So the "dumb" comes out of necessary, not enmity," the proprietors of Dumb Starbucks say in their FAQs.

Read the full FAQ at SCPR:

Dumb Starbucks Menu

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Dumb Starbuck in Los Feliz,Los Angeles/Twitter
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