Copyrighted electronic media are packaged in a secure electronic format, and registered on associated registration server, which serves to provide on-line licensing and copyright management for that media. Users are connected to the server, e.g., through a computer network or the Internet, to enable data transfers and to transact licenses to utilize the media. Packaged electronic media are typically created by an author or derivative user of the work. Once the packaged media is registered on the server, the media is made available for limited use and possible license through an authorization server. This limited use is specified within the minimum permissions data set assigned to each packaged media. Without a license, users are typically permitted to view the packaged media--through a system which unpackages the media--but cannot save or otherwise transfer the media without obtaining auxiliary permissions to do so from the authorization server. The electronic media is authenticated through digital signatures and optional encryption.