Brazil's Supreme Court has unanimously struck down a sweeping 2003 law that empowered the subjects of unauthorized biographies to quash works they disapproved of.

Under the wide-ranging and controversial law, Brazilians were able to block publication of or have removed from store shelves any book about their lives that was created without their consent. It has mainly been used by celebrities.

The law cast a pall over Brazil's publishing industry, with many publishers simply declining to put out a book without the subject's explicit endorsement.

Critics called it possibly the most extreme law regulating privacy and intellectual property in any democratic nation, with many equating the measure with outright censorship.