Congressman Jim Cooper

Representing the 5th District of Tennessee

Music and Entertainment


Tennessee's Fifth Congressional District is home to Nashville, also known as Music City, USA. Music is the lifeblood of Nashville, and it's everywhere you turn in our city. We've got it all: recording artists, musicians, songwriters, record labels, manufacturers, retailers, and service providers. Visitors come from far and wide to enjoy our musical culture, the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame and our rich Motown heritage in the Jefferson Street Music District.

Music policy is so important to Nashville, and that's why it is one of my top priorities. Along with some of my Tennessee colleagues in Congress, I co-sponsor the Songwriter Equity Act to update our country’s music licensing system. The bill proposes changes to the Copyright Act that allow Nashville’s songwriters and publishers to be paid fairly for their work in the age of digital music. I also pushed hard for the Federal Aviation Administration’s new rule that allows guitars in overhead bins on airlines. 

Intellectual property is almost exclusively the subject of federal legislation, and music policy that affects us locally is hatched in Washington, D.C.  I'm a strong supporter of intellectual property rights and rights-holders and believe that intellectual property laws need reevaluating when significant new technologies reach the marketplace. 

My goal is to make sure any new laws serve the public's interest in progress, civic discourse, investment and innovation. I want to make sure creative rights are protected while giving consumers access to legal mediums to enjoy the music they love.

Links & Additional Information

United States Copyright Office

United States Patent & Trademark Office

Nashville Convention and Visitors' Bureau

National Endowment for the Arts

Corporation for Public Broadcasting


More on Music and Entertainment

Dec 18, 2019 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Jim Cooper (TN-05), announced that Tuneer Ghosh, a local high school junior, is the 2019 Congressional App Challenge winner for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District. 

The Congressional App Challenge is a national initiative launched in 2013 to encourage interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by middle and high school students. 

May 13, 2019 Webform
Dec 20, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today announced that two students from Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School are this year’s Congressional App Challenge winners for Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District.

The high school juniors are Zavier Miller and Bob Qian. Zavier and Bob used computer programming to create a user-friendly digital scheduling apparatus for students and teachers. They also produced a video that describes the app’s inner workings.

Sep 26, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today applauded congressional passage of the Music Modernization Act, a bill that promotes fairness in an essential Nashville industry. The House this week passed the Senate’s version of the legislation.

President Trump’s signature will make the landmark bill the law of the land.

“Congress has finally listened to the music industry,” Rep. Cooper said. “I hope the President signs our bill into law quickly so our songwriters get better pay for their work. This bill is great news for Music City.”

Aug 31, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Weeks after fighting for such an outcome, U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) celebrated the end of President Trump’s Commerce Department tariff on a chief component of newsprint, heralding a big win for local and national media organizations that rely on the printed page.

"This is an awesome week for American journalism,” Rep. Cooper said. “Newspapers are important defenders of democracy. Thank goodness the threat of newspaper tariffs is over.”

Jan 19, 2018 Press Release


A list of government agencies and how you might be affected during a shutdown.

Dec 21, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today cosponsored bipartisan legislation that will help songwriters and modernize music payouts in the digital age.

The Music Modernization Act, announced and released today, ensures music creators are more fairly compensated, increases efficiency in the licensing process, provides greater transparency and reforms an outdated system to meet 21st Century needs.

Jan 27, 2017 Press Release

NASHVILLE – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today announced his IssueWatch project, a twice-weekly online newsletter dedicated to Middle Tennesseans interested in important congressional updates and other major happenings in Washington.

Jan 6, 2015 Press Release

WASHINGTON – As Congress began a new session Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-5) praised the Federal Aviation Administration’s announcement of a rule that protects musicians and their instruments during air travel.

“I’ve been pushing hard for the federal government to protect our musicians and our musical instruments,” Cooper said. “Finally, the FAA is allowing guitars in overhead bins on airlines. You won’t have to check your instrument underneath the plane. You’ll be able to carry onboard and keep it safe.”

Jun 26, 2014 Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-5) recently cosponsored two bills to ensure that musicians are paid fairly for the use of their work.

A bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Doug Collins (GA-9), the Songwriter Equity Act would change two provisions of the Copyright Act in order to modernize compensation in the music industry. The outdated provisions prevent songwriters from receiving fair market value for use of their music.