The arrival of the information super highway has introduced a number of problems, both for the owners of copyrighted images and for those who would like to legitimately use those images. The digitization of all content, whether still image, animation, video, music, or text, has made copying infinitely easier and cheaper. Further, the instantaneous access to this wealth of digital copyrighted material by millions of potential users, and would-be pirates, has the potential to greatly proliferate the number of unauthorized copies being made. For most of this century, technology has facilitated the unauthorized, and thus uncompensated, use of copyrighted material. Thus, xerography, audio and video recording systems, and personal computers have all contributed to the problem. However, we are entering a new era, where encryption techniques will not only prevent unauthorized use of copyrighted material but facilitate the use of that material by those that are willing to pay a commercially reasonable fee for such use. The technology, referred to as 'information metering,' allows usage fees to be based on a variety of use parameters. Thus, the material can either be 'rented' for a single use or a fixed number of uses, or it can be 'purchased' for an unlimited number of future uses. One price can be charged for on-screen viewing, with a higher price for hard copy print-out. In the case of digital images, the browsing function can be free, while the price of the print-out function can be based on the resolution of the image.