We've Got Hollywood Covered

Hard Rock Cafe Sued Over Use of David Bowie’s ‘Aladdin Sane’ Portrait

Iconic image from 1973 album cover is used without permission throughout Palm Springs hotel, photographer’s estate alleges

The photo that served as the cover art for David Bowie’s album “Aladdin Sane” has sparked a lawsuit against Hard Rock Cafe International.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, the estate of photographer Brian Duffy, who according to the suit snapped the iconic photo, accuses Hard Rock Cafe of copyright infringement, saying that the image is used without permission at the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs, California.

According to the suit, the image, is used “throughout the Hotel including but not limited to in the front entrance of the Hotel when guests arrive and in the Hotel guestrooms.”

“Duffy is the author of the Photograph and has at all times been the sole owner of all right, title and interest in and to the Photograph, including the copyright thereto.” the lawsuit reads.

The lawsuit says Duffy was “a renowned fashion and portrait photographer. He was included in the 2013 Professional Photographer list of the 100 most influential photographers of all time. His work has been featured in galleries and exhibitions around the world including the Chris Beetles Gallery in London, the Alanari Photo Museum in Florence, the Monash Art Gallery in Australia, and the Centro De Historias Museum in Spain.”

“Hard Rock did not license the Photograph from Plaintiff nor did Hard Rock have Plaintiff’s permission or consent to publish the Photograph in its Hotel or Websites,” the suit reads.

Alleging copyright infringement, the suit seeks unspecified damages.

TheWrap has reached out to a Hard Rock spokeswoman for comment on the lawsuit.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.