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Station Casinos, photographer dispute hot-dog photo

Fred Holt’s photo called "Mindi Smith Hot Dog and Ketchup" is popular in Las Vegas.

The photo, which shows a blond woman in shorts and a low-cut shirt holding a ketchup bottle and a hot dog, appears on Station Casinos’ website and in its sports book advertising.

The problem is Holt, known as Fred Love, of Hallandale Beach, Fla., wants the locals gaming company to stop using his copyrighted photo.

His attorneys have even ordered the company to stop using the photo.

In response, Station Casinos filed suit late Friday against Holt in federal court in Las Vegas, claiming the company owns the rights to the photo.

The photo has been used in Station’s advertising campaigns since 2009 with the understanding that the Las Vegas-based company had acquired all copyrights to the photo, the lawsuit says.

In August, Holt applied for and received a copyright registration from the U.S. Copyright Office.

In its lawsuit, Station said Love "fraudulently obtained the registration and asserted false claims of copyright infringement … because he believed (Station) would pay him a monetary settlement to avoid the time and expense associated with defending his bogus claims."

Love was unavailable for comment Monday. The suit seeks a declaration that Love’s copyright is invalid and unenforceable.

Contact reporter Chris Sieroty at csieroty@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893.

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