UMG chief exec Doug Morris made headlines last month while speaking at a Merrill Lynch Media and Entertainment Conference, saying “social networking” sites like YouTube and MySpace were massively infringing upon the record company’s copyrights by either hosting the label’s videos or allowing users to post Universal content.

But that was well over a month ago. Since then, Universal struck a deal with YouTube that essentially protects the video site from the label’s legal wrath. However, there’s more than one video fish in the sea and the label has launched lawsuits against two companies operating YouTube-like sites.

One of them is Grouper Networks Inc., which runs The other is Bolt Media which has Because was acquired by Sony Pictures Entertainment last August, there is also talk of Universal including the film studio in its lawsuit against Bolt.

In lawsuits filed October 16th, Universal claimed that Grouper and Bolt actively infringed upon the label’s copyrights by “copying, reformatting, distributing and creating” works from songs and music video.

So far, user-contributed video sites have claimed to be merely providers of a service, and said they will remove any copyrighted material upon notification.

Of course, aside from protecting its intellectual property, Universal must also protect its deal with YouTube. If the label allowed other sites to continue doing for free what YouTube is paying Universal to be allowed to do, the YouTube / Universal arrangement would eventually become worthless. Universal had tried to arrange licensing deals with Grouper and Bolt, but could not reach agreement with either.

So it’s off to Copyright Court, where Universal will seek the standard $150,000 per infringement.

Both Grouper and Bolt proclaimed their innocence.

Grouper chief exec Josh Felser released a statement saying they expected to win the lawsuit. Felser also said the company’s Web site is protected by federal law and the company is “vigilant” when notified of potential copyright violations, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Meanwhile, Bolt Media President Jay Gould posted a message on asking that users refrain from posting copyrighted material.

“We understand the love you have for your favorite musical artists,” read the statement, “but Bolt respects the rights of copyright owners such as Universal Music and their artists, and we ask that you please do so as well by not uploading their videos to Bolt.”