I'll Have A Dumb Starbucks Frappuccino, Please - KMSP-TV

I'll Have A Dumb Starbucks Frappuccino, Please

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Los Feliz, CA -

(FOX 11) A new (fake) coffee shop in Los Feliz getting a lot of attention! It looks almost exactly like an official Starbucks. But if you look closely…it is not.  They've copied just about everything "Starbucks", except it's being called "Dumb Starbucks". They even sell CD's with titles like "Dumb Jazz Standards."

People lined up around the block for advertised free coffee.  There were also free pastries still in Vons Supermarket wrappings.

Well it turns out the whole thing was a publicity stunt for an upcoming Comedy Central TV Show.

Filming was authorized at the location three times in the weeks before the store opened on Friday, according to permits taken out with Film LA, a private nonprofit that issues the licenses.

The permits were billed to Abso Lutely Productions, which is run by comedy duo Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim.

Heidecker and Wareheim, commonly referred to as Tim & Eric, are known for their surrealistic brand of sketch comedy. The duo's free-form shows on the Cartoon Network and the low-budget 2012 feature film "Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie" have won them a following.

Dumb Starbucks opened Friday, and the buzz it generated grew over the weekend with a boost from posts on Twitter and Facebook.

That caught the attention of the real Starbucks.

In a statement, the Seattle-based coffee giant said it has no affiliation with the Dumb Starbucks.

"While we appreciate the humor, they cannot use our name, which is a protected trademark," spokeswoman Laurel Harper said in an email.

She added that most trademark disputes are handled informally, suggesting the company might not need to take legal action, though Starbucks had not yet succeeded in contacting those behind Dumb Starbucks.

At the front counter, a frequently asked questions sheet said the store was shielded by "parody law."

"By adding the word `dumb,' we are technically `making fun' of Starbucks, which allows us to use their trademarks under a law known as `fair use,"' the sheet said.

It continued: "In the eyes of the law, our `coffee shop' is actually an art gallery and the `coffee' you're buying is considered art. But that's for our lawyers to worry about."

 

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