David Bowie's famous photo on the cover of his 1973 "Aladdin Sane" album is being used to spice up a hotel's decor, but without the permission of the guy who took the pic ... according to a new suit.
The estate of late photographer Brian Duffy -- which claims to be the sole owner of the legendary image -- says the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs, CA has plastered copies of it all over ... including its front entrance and in the guestrooms.
The portrait artwork might give the place a cool rock 'n' roll vibe, but according to the docs ... the hotel never licensed the photo from Duffy or got his permission to use it.
Duffy's estate's suing the Hard Rock for damages and any profits made from using the artwork. We reached out to the hotel ... no word back so far.