I think you’ll find we all do that 😉
Good question though, and Nic’s response would be helpful on this.
I think the answer lies in the software being ‘Open Source’ so not expecting it to be a problem.
Nic might appreciate a Donation!
The issue with credits is where do you stop? You credit the theme author. Then you credit WordPress. And then you credit the authors of the Apache server it’s running on. And Linux, which Apache runs on. Then there’s all the plugin authors…
All open source, all free, and all creditable—and credited in the source code, where you should not change copyright/license info. But credit them all in your footers and your footer widgets will fall over 🙂
In the end it’s a personal decision, I think. On a personal site, I would probably leave the credits. On a commercial site, it’s not always appropriate.
My approach in any case is to try and give back equal to what I’ve taken. For example, helping on the forum or making donations (of money or in kind).
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