The Motion Sick: My e-mail to BMI…

Just to give you all some more insight into what the music business is like…



I am writing to inquire about my 2008 Q1 Royalties. Presumably, this reflects the period of 1/1/08 to 3/31/08.  

During that time, the album _The truth will catch you, just wait…_ by The Motion Sick (with lead single “30 Lives”) was in the CMJ Top 200 for approximately 8 weeks peaking at #71, the song “30 Lives” was on the CMJ Independent Select Tracks Chart peaking at #67 (which is compiled by real monitoring of stations via Mediaguide), several commercial stations (including WFNX and WBCN) were regularly playing tracks from the album, and our music video for “30 Lives” was aired countless times on television stations across the country and the world including large cable stations like Fuse on Demand, MTV Latin America, and MuchMusic. Yet, my royalty status on the BMI web site says “No Royalties Due.” 

While I recognize that airplay monitoring is an imperfect system and that samples are used to determine overall airplay, this seems fairly amiss. I rely on BMI to represent me and collect royalties for the use of music I have written. Clearly, I have not been well represented for this period of time.  

While I can only provide records of airplay reported to me, which is a tiny fraction of what I expect true airplay was, I can provide the following records that we’ve placed on the web noting radio and television airplay that was publicized:

Additionally, I have attached a summary of station reports from the beginning of the year to 2/18 from many college stations indicating airplay and charting.  

Again, while I recognize that the methodology by which airplay is tallied is imperfect, I feel that the oversight here is significant and that there is a substantial underrepresentation of airplay and usage reflected in your records.

Thank you for your time and assistance.

Best Regards,
Michael Epstein


The Motion Sick Blog –