Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Comedian creates parody Starbucks store

12 February 2014, 06:50

Los Angeles — It was a caffeine-charged Hollywood whodunit: Who created the "Dumb Starbucks" coffee shop that popped up and started serving free drinks from the corner of an otherwise uncelebrated California shopping center.

After several days of speculation, the news came on Monday: The shop was a Canadian comedian's publicity stunt.

Nathan Fielder told a crowd he was pursuing the "American dream" — before acknowledging that he planned to use the bit on his Comedy Central show Nathan For You.

For much of the weekend, a line from the store wound alongside the parking lot and up the block. They weren't coming for gourmet fare: Their descriptions of the coffee ranged from "horrible" to "bitter."

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

Once opened, Dumb Starbucks caught the attention of the real Starbucks.

"While we appreciate the humour, they cannot use our name, which is a protected trademark," spokesperson Laurel Harper said in an e-mail.

She added that most trademark disputes are handled informally, suggesting the company might not need to take legal action.

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."

One law professor suggested Dumb Starbucks needed to sharpen its legal theory.

"Fair use" can protect parodies of copyright material, but a trademark such as the logo has different protections that Dumb Starbucks may well be violating, said Mark McKenna, a trademark law expert at the University of Notre Dame.

Fielder, the comedian, told a news conference Monday that he didn't need Starbucks' permission and he was glad they had not pursued a "case they know they can't win."

Soon after, he said city health inspectors had arrived and told his staff that they had to stop serving drinks.

(Photo:Getty Images)

- AP


Wizkid takes top MTV awards

23 October 2016, 07:05

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...