The music and record companies allege Scour facilitates the “global piracy of copyrighted motion pictures and sound recordings.”

Among the movies the suit claims can be downloaded from Scour are “Gladiator,” “Mission: Impossible 2” and “The X-Men,” movies not yet available on video or DVD.

“This lawsuit is about stealing,” said Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America, which filed the suit on behalf of the movie studios. “It’s a harsh word to use, but the only word that fits the definition of what is going on.”

Scour President Dan Rodrigues said he was surprised by the lawsuit. “Since our launch, all Scour services have complied with all applicable laws,” he said.

Rodrigues said Scour executives met Thursday with Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to discuss recent congressional hearings into online music and Scour’s efforts to work with major entertainment companies.

The MPAA and the Recording Industry Association of America, which recently sued Napster, have been aggressive in enforcing copyright claims. A trial is under way in New York in a suit filed by the MPAA against a Web site that allegedly makes available software to descramble the code meant to prevent DVDs from being copied.

The RIAA also is party to the suit against Scour. The lawsuit seeks an injunction against Scour. Attorneys representing the MPAA said copyright law allows for $150,000 in damages for every movie or recording whose copyright was violated.

Scour has attracted high-profile investors, including Michael Ovitz, a former agent and president of the Walt Disney Co. who also owns a production company. A spokesman for Ovitz said he would not comment as a matter of policy on lawsuits involving third parties.