The company filed suit in the US District Court in Los Angeles late on Friday. The litigation claims MySpace operates in the knowledge that its site contains copyright-infringing material.
It also claims the service encourages "rampant" infringement of thousands of Universal copyrights. The action seeks statutory damages of $150,000 for each copyrighted work and an injunction barring further infringing acts.
"The foundation of MySpace is its so-called 'user-generated content.' 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."
The suit also alleges that MySpace: "Knowingly and intentionally operated its business on the fiction that it has obtained the licenses it needs to exist from members that MySpace well knows are not the true copyright owners."
In response, MySpace decried the lawsuit as "unnecessary and without merit".