I did a quick search for some information regarding sound design and legal issues, sound samples licensing, etc. though couldn't find anything too specific.
For some time now I've been downloading pirate audio warez (mainly SFX libraries and pre-recorded music loops) for testing purposes and personal use. Whenever I came across a sound library I really found useful, I went on and purchased it.
I've recently completed a sound design job for a computer game trailer, in which I incorporated a few loops taken from libraries which I have no license for. Putting aside the moral/ideological issues of doing such a thing, I'm asking myself (and you) how dangerous is it really to do so? Considering the inconceivable massive amount of sound sample libraries being released every other day? Is there really somebody out there listening to every single mix being broadcasted online or offline and trying to spot out, underneath the different mix layers and effects, sounds which require a license….?
Also — and this is directed especially to the electronic-based sound libraries — couldn't I theoretically, with the right knowledge and gear, reproduce an exact replica of a certain sound I would be interested in using? In such case, how could one prove that I've actually stolen a sound sample from a certain library rather than used it as a reference to create a replica?