> Denying you a license is not in their best interest, nor is suing every
> single entity that distributes technology that may infringe on their
Denying us a free license is certainly in their best interest. They could extract millions of dollars a year in revenue from us. Ditto for every other entity with significant income.
> The MPEG-LA states that licenses are only necessary in certain
I haven't found that stated anywhere. The MPEG-LA offers a license that covers certain circumstances. For all other circumstances, it is silent.
Maybe you're arguing that the MPEG-LA's silence about those other circumstances indicates that they don't care and would not choose to sue over those cases? That is extremely doubtful; it would be a most unwise business practice to forgo licensing for unforeseen product categories. And I already explained why relying on the beneficence of the MPEG-LA is not desirable.
My guess is that the MPEG-LA has simply not considered the possibility that an organization which could afford to pay significant licensing revenue would give away for free software that includes an H.264 codec.
Anyway, you can settle this. Go ahead and ask the MPEG-LA to declare that free distribution of FFmpeg does not require a patent license. If you get that in writing, that would be really interesting.