"The foundation of MySpace is its so-called 'user-generated content','' Universal stated in its complaint.
"However, much of that content is not 'user-generated' at all. Rather, it is the 'user-stolen' intellectual property of others, and MySpace is a willing partner in that theft."
Universal hinted last October that it could sue sites hosting so-called user generated content.
Universal is demanding $150,000 for each allegedly infringing piece of content on MySpace, a sum similar to those demanded of Bolt and Grouper.
Universal and MySpace have an agreement that allows the website to display music videos. MySpace has also said that it will implement fingerprinting technology to automatically filter out copyrighted materials in video uploads.
Media conglomerate News Corporation acquired MySpace in July 2005 for $580m, making it the second most expensive Web 2.0 acquisition behind the $1.65bn Google YouTube deal.
MySpace could be freed from legal liabilities under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, however. The company is likely to claim that it is merely providing a service to consumers and that it does not itself engage in copyright infringement.
The service will remove material if the copyright holder files a complaint.
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