I can see people giving props to the authors by keeping their links intact ( I personally don't, but that's just because my customers don't want them there ) so long as the author didn't go out of his/her way to try an deceive them into keeping his/her links on the theme by fraudulently claiming it's protected under the Creative Common License or any other restricting license, which it's not, and that the removal of the links is STRICTLY PROHIBITED, which is BS, and which in all actuality is an illegal claim by the author whether they know it or not, but they do it anyway.
Everyone has to keep in mind that these themes are being created as a GPL sidekick of WordPress. The license was created SPECIFICALLY for the SOLE PURPOSE of protecting the Open Source Tradition.
Who's really walking the fine line of immoral practices? The ones who follow the rules by using WordPress Themes, (which most definitely fall under WordPress's GPL license as I've yet to see one that works as a standalone and I just finished editing over 1000 of them) for exactly what they are created for, no matter the authors intention......
the OH SO MANY individuals that are falsely claiming Creative Common License protection, wrongly and deceivingly stripping away the rights of all us "honest" users that are abiding by the law?
And if authors really wanna gripe about people hacking their themes and removing their unwanted advertising links then there's a very simple solution......go create themes for a non-GPL platform where the CCL will actually be valid and they won't be knowingly or unknowingly committing a white collar crime.
Sorry, but I happen to believe in our rights and feel that someone needs to speak out against those that would take them away from us.
Just my 2 cents.