Mother Teresa is being recognized for her humanitarian work on a new U.S. postage stamp that will be released Sunday, and Corey Field, an IP attorney at Ballard Spahr in Los Angeles, helped make that happen.
For the last six years, Field has provided pro bono representation for the Mother Teresa of Calcutta Center, the foundation that holds the intellectual property rights to Mother Teresa’s estate. Field, who’s also president of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A., negotiated the rights to use her image on the 44-cent U.S. postage stamp.
He’s also advised the estate on matters such as motion picture and documentary film rights, music publishing and licensing, and international book publishing, including the recently published book “Mother Teresa: Where There Is Love There Is God.” All the proceeds go to support the Mother Teresa of Calcutta Center.
But for the foundation, it’s not about the money, Field said. It received no money from the U.S. Postal Service, for example. The foundation’s primary concern when people want to use Mother Teresa’s image or words is protecting her legacy and reputation. It works hard not to commercialize her image.
“There are situations where you want to be very careful about how the images are used, and how the rights are granted, and not have any misunderstandings,” Field said. “It’s about protecting someone’s life legacy. That to me is a good day as a lawyer.”