Since the portrait was first unveiled in 2004, Beckham has forgone the traditional practice of assigning copyright to the famous gallery and the artist, choosing instead to control its use himself, the Telegraph reported.
National Portrait Gallery Director Sandy Nairne has said that Beckham's company, Footwork, likely changed the specifics of its deal with the organization in an attempt to maintain control of the portrait by artist Sam Taylor-Wood.
The paper said Beckham has since attempted to control advertising images for the related exhibition, openly opposed corresponding postcards to be sold by the gallery, and authorized Entertainment Limited to clarify his position.
"Only one edition of the portrait may be produced and this is to be housed predominantly in the National Portrait Gallery," the company said in a letter. "If other galleries wish to exhibit this commission then this will need to be approved by Footwork, David's company, in advance."
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