I say: Screw that. Take him down. Or rather: He took himself down, we’re not doing any good if we try to sugar coat it.
There are a lot of other cases that fall into a fuzzy grey area — this logo looks somewhat like that logo, but not quite. This person invented a new type of widget and lots of other people are now creating new takes on the same interaction paradigm, etc. That’s another story.
But in this case the person blatantly copied someone else’s work, lied outright about it, and didn’t add any of his own creation to the mix. He’s uncreative and extraordinarily unethical. And on top of that, he’s clearly quite stupid. These are all things that potential employers and potential clients should be aware of, because every one of those is a reason not to hire someone.
Tracy was extraordinarily kind to strike out his name. I think his name should be included so anyone considering doing business with this guy will find this truth about him when they Google him. So they can avoid making the painful mistake of hiring him.
As for “It doesn’t seem rightfully so to take them down professionally forever.” — That may be true. But what happens AFTER this crime is another question entirely, it’s a much more difficult question to tease out, and frankly it’s the perpetrator’s job to work that out.
But however you slice it, one thing that definitely should NOT happen is for us to pretend that such a blatant crime never took place, or to hide it from public view.