The motion picture industry hopes to stem a potential flood of digital video piracy in a civil case to open today in which Hollywood studios have accused a computer journalist of violating a still untested 1998 federal law that aims to protect digital media. Eric Corley, publisher of 2600 (http://www.2600.org), a magazine and Web site of the computer hacker underground, is set to stand trial for spreading a utility that allows digital video discs (DVDs) to be copied and transmitted over the Web. The plaintiffs in the case, which include Hollywood's eight biggest movie studios--including Universal, MGM and Time Warner--are seeking to stop Corley from republishing the software code that unlocks the media scrambling within DVDs. The trial will take place in federal court in Manhattan before U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan. Corley, who now goes by the name Emmanuel Goldstein after the hero of the George Orwell novel "1984," has been targeted by the movie industry for publicizing the existence of a software utility known as Decode Content Scrambling System (DeCSS).