32 Minn. L. Rev. 734 (1947-1948)
Peace of Mind in 48 Pieces vs. Uniform Right of Privacy

handle is hein.journals/mnlr32 and id is 742 raw text is: PEACE OF MIND IN 48 PIECES VS. UNIFORM RIGHT
OF PRIVACY*
FREDERICK J. LuDWIG**
B Y 1890, when Warren and Brandeis' urged judicial recogni-
tion of a right of privacy, certain changes in living conditions
had already created need for a new tort. Close living and mass
urbanization came as a result of the industrial revolution and tide
of immigration. Mass produced goods needed mass markets and a
merchandising technique of high-pressure advertising was born. As
literacy and compulsory education became widespread, a new jour-
nalism emerged. Gossip columnists and human interest stories
swelled circulation to astronomical figures.2 New technology brought
the linotype, high speed printing press and instantaneous photo-
graph. What chance of survival was there for a life of dignity and
seclusion? What freedom from prying curiosity? What hope for
peace of mind? The common law with remedies formulated in a pre-
industrial age furnished no protection. Libel and slander were only
superficially appropriate because of the defense of truth. The ancient
but discarded maxim, The greater the truth, the greater the libel,
once the rule in criminal actions,3 demonstrated that making public
private affairs of another causes no less emotional disturbance be-
cause of the veracity of the disclosure.
In the last half-century, confusion has followed in the wake of
statutes and decisions on privacy in a few states, and enigmatic
silence about the right in the rest. Twentieth century technology
has brought the radio, television, newsreels and motion pictures.
National syndication of columns and international transmission of
news and photographs has broadened the reach of journalism. Ad-
vertising has overflown state barriers. Today, the typical invasion
*The author acknowledges many useful suggestions by William Hoppen.
**A.B., 1939,'M.Sc., 1942, College of the City of New York; LL.B.,
1945, Columbia University School of Law; Member of the New York Bar;
Professor of Law, University of Nebraska College of Law.
1. The Right to Privacy, 4 Harv. L. Rev. 193 (1890).
2. Cf. id. at 196: The press is overstepping in every direction the
obvious bounds of propriety and of decency. Gossip is no longer the resource
of the idle and of the vicious, but has become a trade, which is pursued with
industry as well as effrontery. To satisfy a prurient taste the details of sexual
relations are spread broadcast in the columns of the daily papers. To occupy
the indolent, column upon column is filled with idle gossip, which can only
be procured by intrusion upon the domestic circle.
3. De Libellis Famosis, 5 Coke 125 (1605).

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