Glenn Miller, a famous musician, died in 1944. In 1952, Glenn’s widow, Helen Miller (plaintiff), entered into a contract with Universal Pictures Company, Inc. (Universal), purporting to grant Universal the exclusive production rights for Glenn’s life story. Helen warranted in the contract that she was the exclusive owner of the rights transferred to Universal. Per the contract terms, Universal paid $409,336.34 to Helen as her share of income from the resulting motion picture, The Glenn Miller Story. On her federal taxes, Helen asserted that the payment constituted gain from the sale of a capital asset. The federal tax commissioner (commissioner) (defendant) found that Helen should have reported the payment as ordinary income. Helen petitioned the United States Tax Court for a redetermination. The tax court sustained the commissioner’s position, and Helen petitioned for review.