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Comedian Nathan Fielder Could Face Jail Time For Dumb Starbucks Coffee Shop

Kevin Blair Kevin Blair
February 12th, 2014 10:01pm EST

Nathan Fielder

Comedian Nathan Fielder, the man behind the headline-making "Dumb Starbucks" prank in Los Angeles," has revealed that he could end up in jail over his "art."

Fielder, who stars in the Comedy Central series "Nathan For You" (which is heading into its second season), recreated a Starbucks coffee shop in an L.A. strip mall, branding it "Dumb Starbucks" and using the coffee company's full logo and title treatments for his shop.

The comedian says it's all in the name of art and he's not infringing on the Seattle coffeemaker's trademarks as what he's doing is allowed under copyright law in the U.S.

Naturally the real Starbucks isn't pleased; but Fielder faces another potential issue with his establishment: the health inspector.

Fielder doesn't have a health permit to sell the coffee or pastries he's been stocking at Dumb Starbucks.

"We have to deal with the health board right now, we had to meet with them today," he said on Jimmy Kimmel's show Tuesday night. "I really just found this out that the penalty is up to six months in jail — so we are trying to be very nice to them."

"What they don't understand is that legally, we are an art gallery and the coffee we are selling is considered the art, and galleries don't need health permits," he added. "Also, by not having the health permits and saving those fees, we are able to pass on those savings to the customer."

The coffee shop -- er, 'art installation' -- opened on Monday and people waited for up to four hours in line for their works of art, which the comedian explained were merely pastries bought at Vons grocery store and "whatever coffee beans were on sale" that day at Ralph's supermarket.

Fielder says he plans to open a second Dumb Starbucks in Brooklyn, New York.

 

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