The right of publicity originated in the ‘right of privacy’ as first described in an 1890 law review article that advocated the creation of a right to be left alone. This was a remarkable expansion of the recognised right to sue for trespass on one’s property to a right to sue for invasion of one’s persona. The article advocated four related rights of privacy, three of which were extensions of known rights that were recognised in many cultures and actionable in private tort law:
- the claim against other people for intrusion on private space;
- the claim of false light (ie, the misattribution of a person’s actions or beliefs); and
- the claim based on truthful publication of an embarrassing private fact (ie, protecting a reasonable person’s secrets).