For those of you lack fluency in Copyright law, Silvers v. Sony Pictures Entertainment, 402 F.3d 881 (2005), says that you need to assign a specific right under 17 U.S.C. § 106 – and not the bare right to sue – for a copyright assignment to be valid. Other courts, such as Sybersound, have held that you need an exclusive right in order to sue for infringement of your copyright rights.Hundreds of lawsuits were filed--and settlements extracted under threat of those lawsuits--with the now apparently false claim that Righthaven owned the lawsuit, and was not simply suing on behalf of Stevens Media. Sections 3.3 and 3.4 are quite clear that Righthaven is suing on Stephens Media's behalf--not that Stephens Media has sold the copyright to Righthaven. Stephens Media "shall have the right to reassign any such copyright" hardly sounds like Righthaven bought the copyright at all.
I think this is going to be a very big problem for Righthaven. If they have any sense, they will stop suing, and make sure that they have enough money to defend themselves from the suits that are going to be filed by people who made settlements based on the apparently inaccurate claims in those suits that Righthaven owned the copyright.
UPDATE: There seems to be other provisions of this contract that do seem to grant them copyright ownership. Very confusing.