I'm a little mad and here is whats going on:

Hey there folks and Staff of Colorlib,

first and foremost I need to say that I am mad. But let’s begin slowly.
I first visited your website a couple of years back because I thought you were one of the best places to get Templates and Themes from.
However, that changed when I returned a couple of days ago.
Remember how you guys always labeled yourself with that “FREE” headline? And yeah you got me with that.
Today I stumbled across the forums and after a couple of threads I found the answer to what drove me crazy.
I looked and dug for that download button that once was on every other site but it is (or at least so it seems) long gone and I thought I’m the one who is crazy not finding it.
I literally tired hours to get a download button to work, but they are no more.
You can still find the label “Free” on the overview-sites (at least on templates) but you thought “Free be gone and Fee it is”.
And I found at least one more thing you screwed up.
On literally every site (again at least on templates) there is a listed license-type and to my recognition the license “CC BY 3.0” is Creative Commons and therefore I and every other person visiting this website should be able to download, edit, share and commercially use all the templates under that license as long as credit is given to colorlib.
And it even gets worse, once the CC-License is applied you are literally no longer able to revoke that meaning every template listed under that term (CC BY 3.0 (and other CC Licenses)) is and will be under Creative Commons for ever (or at least as long as you (the original creator) are the legal holder of certain property and this is not pirated or otherwise illegally obtained).
This could even be enforced by law if one would take it that far.

I don’t know what made you and the team change their minds to end your Creative Commons route but I know one thing:
As long as you stand up there and list templates as “Free” and then don’t deliver, you are a doing bad and in my case you lost a true fan and recommender of your site which I think applies to a bigger number of users who used to use your site for free templates.
In my case I don’t care about WP but I really liked your templates. They were always looking nice and I always found one that suited the need I had for the current project which btw mostly was for friends and family or other people I personally knew and their small businesses and so on. But with a behavior like this I can’t stand behind this and I will lookout for an alternative at least as long as you don’t take the step back and return to the free Themes and Templates. Or at least do so on under CC listed Items.

I know it costs money to host this site and to pay your staff and it probably is difficult keeping up with the payroll if you pump out everything for free but in my opinion you need to man up, return the old and currently available themes and templates (which stand under CC) to be free and starting from now on you can and probably should use a licensing method for your items. I understand you guys want to make money. Everyone does. But don’t do us, the community dirty and virtually kill everything standing under CC.

I and probably other visitors of your site hope to see the change back, until then have a nice day and see you soon. And if you’re a user reading this I would like to encourage you to leave me and the colorlib team your own opinion on this topic here.

Sincerely, an old Fan.

Hey there

I totally understand your points, but the situation changed, everything needs maintenance, we are adding new templates almost every day, they are not created for free and need to be paid, it was impossible to keep this business under that same rules and policies.
We want to add some extra themes, templates, and services to the site and it definitely needs some valuable income

I hope you understand

Even Google changed the free plan of their Google Photos service