The companies involved include UMG Recordings, Capitol Records, Warner Bros, Sony Music, Arista Records, Atlantic Records and several others.
They claim that the owner of YouTube-mp3.org, Philip Matesanz, whom they allege is the chief offender, has infringed their rights. The suit was filed in federal court in California.
In the UK, Matesanz has been put on formal notice by the British Phonographic Industry, which represents the music industry, that he will face legal action if it does not cease its activities.
A media release from the Recording Industry Association of America quoted Frances Moore, chief executive of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, as saying: "This is a co-ordinated action to protect the rights of artists and labels from the blatant infringements of YouTube-mp3, the world’s single-largest 'stream ripping' site.
"Music companies and digital services today offer fans more options than ever before to listen to music legally, when and where they want to do so – over hundreds of services with scores of millions of tracks – all while compensating artists and labels. Stream ripping sites should not be allowed jeopardise this."
Cary Sherman, chairman and chief executive of the RIAA, said: "This site is raking in millions on the backs of artists, songwriters and labels. We are doing our part, but everyone in the music ecosystem who says they believe that artists should be compensated for their work has a role to play. It should not be so easy to engage in this activity in the first place, and no stream ripping site should appear at the top of any search result or app chart."
BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: "It's time to stop illegal sites like this building huge fortunes by ripping off artists and labels. Fans have access now to a fantastic range of legal music streaming services, but they can only exist if we take action to tackle the online black market. We hope that responsible advertisers, search engines and hosting providers will also reflect on the ethics of supporting sites that enrich themselves by defrauding creators."