Secure distribution of a private key to a user's application program (also called a "trusted player" such as a DVD player or CD-ROM player) with conditional access based on verification of the trusted player's integrity and authenticity is provided. Once validated, the trusted player uses the private key to decrypt encrypted digital content. The private key is dynamically generated, associated with specific digital content, and communicated in real-time from a server to the trusted player in a secure manner, thereby controlling access to encrypted digital content. The key is wrapped into an executable tamper resistant key module in which the key can only be used by the right trusted player as determined by the server based on user requests and payment. The key module plugs in to the trusted player and executes to validate the player and decrypt the content. The integrity of the trusted player is correlated to its ability to perform a cryptographic operation using an asymmetric key pair in a manner that is tamper resistant, thereby preventing an unencrypted copy of digital content to be made.