I’m afraid it is hopelessly out of touch with reality today. It depends on common law, which is not recognized many places today. And it claims that the courts recognize a right not to have your things published if you don’t want them to be. Not because of copyright, but something more fundamental. I don’t think this is true, since private emails are regularly published without consequence for the publisher. Perhaps a lawyer will correct me, though.
Anyway, this seems to be the most helpful bit for our conversation:
These considerations lead to the conclusion that the protection afforded to thoughts, sentiments, and emotions, expressed through the medium of writing or of the arts, so far as it consists in preventing publication, is merely an instance of the enforcement of the more general right of the individual to be let alone. It is like the right not to be assaulted or beaten, the right not to be imprisoned, the right not to be maliciously prosecuted, the right not to be defamed. In each of these rights, as indeed in all other rights recognized by the law, there inheres the quality of being owned or possessed—and (as that is the distinguishing attribute of property) there may be some propriety in speaking of those rights as property. But, obviously, they bear little resemblance to what is ordinarily comprehended under that term. The principle which protects personal writings and all other personal productions, not against theft and physical appropriation, but against publication in any form, is in reality not the principle of private property, but that of an inviolate personality.