I don't like exagerated rhetoric. In no way am I saying FFmpeg is illegal. Our reading of the GPL and LGPL, which are licenses governing the distribution of software, you need to give the same rights to your recipients as you have, and they need to be able to redistribute with the same rights as well.
In our reading this conflicts with the combination of patents and their usage license when they are volume-based instead of one-time fee. If I distribute the code, I'm not going to pay the end user license for everyone that gets my software; I don't even know how you would be able to track that.
In the case of mp3, since there was a one-time fee, we did exactly that.
Of course, this reasoning a) assumes that patents and patent licensing are legally valid (which for example is the case in the US) and b) is our (and our lawyer's) interpretation of the situation.
Diego, feel free to disagree with this; in the end what we saw is a practical situation (no distro feels legally safe to ship ffmpeg/xine/vlc/mplayer).
But don't blow up the discussion with insinuations that we think ffmpeg is illegal, or that we try to take away anyone's freedom. That's just intentionally polarizing the discussion. Your arguments are stronger when you don't put words in the mouth of the other.