They most certainly straight up did. If you deleting your code would cause problems for others, they’ll not allow you to do that.
Again, if I own something, I can remove it from a service, and that service cannot use it. The service, if I license in a way that allows, can make their OWN copy, but that is now THEIR copy. Not mine. If I remove my repository from Github, and Github un-removes it because it would be inconvenient to someone else, that is not github making a copy of it and hosting it as a separate entity. The difference here is important.
I think I’m getting a better understanding of your position. Here’s a hypothetical situation: I fork leftpad into my own package, make some very minor changes, change the name, then publish it on npmjs.com. Would you be okay with that?
If I understand you correctly, you would be totally fine with this. (By the way, leftpad is WTFPL which is effectively public domain, so there’s no licensing issue here.)
What I’ve been trying to say is that this and “unremoving” leftpad have no significant differences in terms of copyright law. If what you’re saying is that the differences make one right and the other wrong, then that is an entirely different discussion that I’ll leave you to.
(I’ll ignore your remarks on my conception of “open source,” because that is yet another different discussion.)