Atari, Electronic Arts and Vivendi Universal Games have filed suit against 321 Studios, alleging that the company's Games X Copy software is a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

LOS ANGELES -- Atari, Electronic Arts and Vivendi Universal Games have filed suit against 321 Studios, alleging that the company's Games X Copy software is a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

The suit (case number 04 CV 4458) was filed June 15 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Games X Copy allows consumers to make a copy of a PC game using a CD or DVD burner.

"We have made the case that there is real harm if this product continues to be on sale," says Douglas Lowenstein, president of the Entertainment Software Assn., a trade group that represents videogame makers. "We are asking for a preliminary injunction against 321 Studios. It is illegal to distribute a product that circumvents technological protections built into videogames."

A representative for 321 says the St. Charles, Mo.-based company is "confident in their legal position. They considered the issues before launching Games X Copy (in February). They had no discussion with the plaintiffs previously."

321 manufactures a similar product for copying DVDs, called DVD X Copy software, which has been the target of several legal battles this year.

In May, Macrovision won a preliminary injunction against 321, barring the company from selling DVD X Copy. Judge Richard Owen of the Federal Court for the Southern District of New York found that the software violates the DMCA.

321 had already been ordered to stop selling the product, under a February ruling by the U.S. District Court of San Francisco. That case was brought by film studios that included MGM, Sony, Warner, Disney and Universal.

A preliminary injunction against 321 was also granted in March by Judge Owen of New York, in a case brought by Paramount Pictures Corp. and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

321 filed an appeal in the California case.