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Photographer Sues Iconic Detroit Gay Bar, Menjos, After Shirtless Photo Used To Promote Military Night

(CBS DETROIT) - A popular Detroit gay bar is being sued by a photographer after a shirtless photo of a military-looking man.

Menjos Facebook post made using photo photographer Michael Stokes took, which sparked the copyright infringement lawsuit against the popular Detroit gay bar. | U.S. District Court Records

A California photographer is accusing Menjos Entertainment in Palmer Park of unlawfully using the photo in 2017 to promote a themed event, "Military Might Night," with shot specials and "military attire encouraged," listed on the promotion.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the photographer, Michael Stokes, filed a copyright infringement lawsuit saying that Menjos harmed his reputation as an internationally acclaimed artist who takes images of wounded veterans and the male form.

Stokes also said he doesn't want to be associated with an event like this because it may offend individuals in the military.

The photo of male model JR Bronson was originally posted in 2013, and it was registered with the U.S. Copyright Office in 2015, which means it cannot be used without permission.

It was posted to Menjos social media accounts in 2017, and Stokes saw the photo on the Menjos Facebook account five years later, which sparked the lawsuit.

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