MMM Receives Legal Threats – Great Lawyer Wanted

The threats are real.. but how we respond to them is our choice.

The threats are real.. but how we respond to them is our choice.

Sigh. I suppose this was bound to happen sometime.

This blog is approaching its third birthday and has been blessed with over 62 million page views from 5.2 million people and counting. Many people have helped and contributed along the way, and while we rant, swear, and speak out against many aspects of our culture, there have been very few bumps along the way. Even the corporate world that we occasionally mock has left us alone. Until now.

A few weeks ago, a flurry of registered letters and FedEx packages started arriving at the Mustache residence. They were from a law firm representing a company who didn’t like something that had been said by a member of the Forum section of this website.

How did they even find out about this conversation, you might ask? Through Google searches. After all these years, this website has garnered sufficient page rank that when we talk about something, it shows up high in the search engine rankings. The company was apparently Googling their own name, found something they did not agree with, and decided they wanted to silence the critics. Here’s a copy of that first letter, signed by the chairman:

The first threat. In retrospect I have learned it is complete bullshit, but it was scary at the time.

The first threat. In retrospect I have learned it is complete bullshit, but it was scary at the time.

From what I could tell, there wasn’t much merit to their complaint. They were asking me to take down posts that a reader had made regarding their company, alleging that it was “Libelous”. Never mind the fact that Section 230 of Title 47 of the United States Code holds that website owners cannot be held responsible for comments that their users make.

I could have taken it down anyway and been free from the hassle. But the whole thing seemed like bullshit to me. If I’m going to sit here and write about financial independence and the freedom it gives you from putting up with bullshit, I’ll be damned if I’m going to let a corporate law firm push all of us around with questionable legal threats.

Adding to the bullshit nature of the claims, it seemed like my adversary was humorously unaware of the Streisand Effect: trying to suppress information only ensures its permanent and widespread distribution. That shit may have worked for totalitarian leaders intimidating villagers, but come on, the Internet has been invented. Can a tiny East Coast firm suppress a large blog, run by a person who thinks suppressing information is really, really evil?

So while I removed the old post pending some legal advice, I did take one step: I started a new thread on the forum, explaining the legal threat that I had received. I figured it was only fair that people should know what is happening, and there is no possible threat of libel from me simply reporting some actual events taken by this company. The Mustachians had a field day with it, and the discussion continues.

Well, they didn’t like that either. I came home from my day of carpentry today to find a slew of “sorry we missed you” registered mail and FedEx notes, and a non-registered letter from that same law firm. Inside was a huge printout of the whole forum thread and even more scary threats from the lawyers.

They stated that their lawsuit would be targeted against my wife and I, as well as our domain registrars (translation: we’ll get your website taken down too.)

It may all be groundless bullying, but it is also a little scary.

I’d love to have an aggressive lawyer who could receive these little threat letters for me and turn them around on the originating firm, so they would know that we will not be bullied. I do have several good friends who work in or own law firms, and they have provided some early encouragement. But rather than imposing on them, I thought it would be most appropriate (and most entertaining) to reach out to the Mustachians first.

If there’s an actual law we are breaking here, I will gladly stop breaking it, and offer my full apologies to those affected.

But if we are within our legal rights, then I will absolutely fight with every resource available to preserve those rights and keep publishing the opinions of both forum users and myself. And the results of the battle and the names of the companies who have attempted this will be published on this blog forever for the protection of others.

Update: After further advice from the MMM legal team, I can now safely share more details. The company is called Kiss Trust. The forum thread they are objecting to is this one right here. Their law firm is called “Law office of Mark B. Williams, PLC”, and here is a copy of the letter they sent me:


I’ve heard that all state BAR associations forbid their members from sending threatening letters when they know there is no real basis for the complaint. If a law firm is publicly shown to be doing this, it could be very bad for its reputation. But the practice remains widespread, and this surprises me.  I’m not saying that Mark B. Williams’ law firm would stoop to such a level – I don’t know enough of the law to prove such a thing. But if this does turn out to be the case, it will be important for this information to remain public as well. And for all other letters I receive from law firms to be published for further scrutiny by a larger audience.

Hey! What do you know, this new one came from another lawyer just the next day!


Either way, I look forward to learning the truth so I can better comply with the law, and sharing the results with you all along the way. I could not imagine a better learning experience, so I thank Kiss trust for providing us with this opportunity!

I will also start a dedicated page on this blog so this story and others from readers about legal and corporate harassment can be shared. It makes sense that if suppressing information and opinions with fear is the disease, then a public forum where we can share them permanently with each other is the antidote.

This blog reaches over 25,000 lawyers every month as just a tiny slice of its readership. I’m looking for one person, an aggressive and serious one who is willing to take on the bullies. This blog, while not a big-bucks operation, can pay you for your time as required, and you will also receive my wholehearted endorsement and recommendation if you want your firm’s information to be public. Ideally, this would become a recurring story as we document the progress of our fight.

Who’s in?

Update: I’ve found my great lawyer! After dozens of responses from attorneys in all sorts of firms, I have had an amazing crash course in first amendment law over the last 24 hours. What strikes me is how incredibly baseless the threats seem to be – they directly contradict everything the best lawyers around are telling me the law says! One of the cited precedent cases in that second letter turned out to be about an old couple with a leaky roof, and had no relationship to defamation at all.

I have chosen one firm to represent the blog, and we have some response letters in the works, which I can share with you as they are finished and sent.

If you are a US attorney with expertise in this area (or are just interested in helping out), please get in touch with me through the blog’s contact form here: https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/contact/

Although I am now happily represented and ready for some fun, the crowdsourcing effect of this article is amazing: we can combine knowledge from all attorneys and focus them into one case, ensuring a very good result.

Many thanks and here’s to the next three years!

Mr. Money Mustache

p.s. Kiss Trust – don’t you wish you had just left that innocent single comment alone in the forum now? And will you consider leaving all other bloggers alone from this point forward?

In response to your first threat, I documented your actions on a low-profile forum thread. The second threat encouraged me to write this article.
Then it spent some time on today’s top 10 in Hacker News.
Then the king of first amendment defenders, Ken White from Popehat tweeted it to his 12,000 twitter followers. (Thanks Ken!)
There’s currently an editing battle going on in your Wikipedia Entry between an IP address registered to your office, and somebody else who has added reference to this post. So you asked to have the whole post deleted, but Wikipedia isn’t listening to you either! (Internet etiquette tip: you’re not supposed to write your own Wikipedia entry)
And you got a good chunk of the country’s first amendment lawyers digging into your own firm and each of your law firms.

We can go a lot further on the publicity side of this, so just let us know where you want this story to appear next. It should be pretty obvious by this point that it is not me who is hurting your reputation, it is you. The more interesting you make this story, the more people will decide they want to share it. So keep making it interesting, and I’ll keep documenting!

On the other hand, when you are done punching yourself in the face, you can send me a personal apology and a promise never to do this again to anyone. I will publish it and we can all go back to our real jobs. Although your behavior is wrong right now, I have no objection to your actual trust business, and I believe in forgiveness. I think your potential customers may as well.

Update 2: This has all blown over

It didn’t take long after this post for things to go back to normal. I never heard from the company again, although I did receive second-hand word that they were pissed at the results of their attempted squelching. I also heard from the management of corporate-owned blog Get Rich Slowly that the K-trusters had sent very similar legal harassment to them over an honest review of the company’s products. What a bunch of bullshit. Glad it is over but we remain vigilant for the next battle.

  • Chris Wharton March 13, 2014, 2:33 pm

    MMM, I’ve seen you say it’s your persona, and not you in real life, that is really badass. I’d say that distinction is over with now. Mr. Pete is truly a real-life badass with this fight. Way to go.

    By the way, in the nutrition world, there was a great back-and-forth somewhat similar to this between someone who supported vegetarianism and a lobbyist for the food industry. Check out this link, then read the letter in the response to the legal threat that was made. Similarly amusing:


  • Big Monkey March 13, 2014, 3:19 pm

    Man, I laughed so hard a bit of wee came out.
    I’m going to enjoy this fight. Glad you are not going to let them bully you.
    Foolish foolish people.
    Good luck MMM.

  • BB March 13, 2014, 3:40 pm

    Ernest & Young? Hahahaha? Idiots.

    It looks like you’ve taken down the forum as a precaution, with no notice given. How long will it be down?

    • Mr. Money Mustache March 13, 2014, 9:50 pm

      No, the forum will never be taken down! It is just sputtering a bit due to issues at our web host. It might be the extra traffic, actually – the site cranked out 257,000 pageviews yesterday including the forum, which is…. I just checked and I see it is… A RECORD!!!!!

      • Jeremy March 14, 2014, 3:58 pm

        Recent convert to the cause and this has cemented my readership.
        Shame I was never likely to be a customer of KISS Trust so can’t withdraw my business, but great to see how effectively a company that [redacted] can self harm.
        What a bunch of douches.

        In the scheme of things, a small battle but, judged by the quadrillions of supportive comments, this feels important to a lot of people.
        Go MMM, we’ve got your back.

  • Tim March 13, 2014, 4:56 pm

    You know, I think this whole thing will end up relating pretty well to the whole Moustachian philosophy. Standing up for your right to exuberantly express yourself, and in this case host a forum for others to exuberantly express themselves, is an important part of the pursuit of badassery.

    I got stopped by a cop the other day for riding my bicycle on the road, towing groceries home from Costco. He told me 15 mph wasn’t fast enough to ride on the road, even though the law clearly says I can ride there (I had two printouts of the law with me). When I refused to take an alternate route, he called in my ID to make a report – and then just folded and drove away. That altercation, and others with aggressive motorists, teach me something: learning to stand up for your rights isn’t pleasant, but it’s worth it.

    I’m confident that will be the case with these initially-scary threats as well. I can’t wait to see the letters your attorney sends.

    • Mr. Money Mustache March 17, 2014, 8:00 am

      Fuck yeah! That is great that you got a chance to educate the car-clown cop.

      He should be providing you with a courtesy escort to celebrate the badassity of bike-trailer Costco’ing, rather than trying to force you back into a motorized La-Z-Boy.

  • PatrickJChicago March 13, 2014, 6:50 pm

    I have read almost every single on article on this Blog and this is my favorite one. I’ve been wrongly sued by bullies 6 times in the past 5 years and I have won every suit against me. I applaud you for standing up to these assholes. Fuck them.

  • StevenC68 March 13, 2014, 6:55 pm

    Hi Mr & Mrs MM,

    We support you – I have a professional background, long standing career – but not in the area of expertise you need for this issue.

    I love how you’r handling this; I hope to meet you and your family someday, shake your hand and share our badassity.

    Best Regards,


  • Ryan March 13, 2014, 7:14 pm

    I’ve always respected you MMM, now I’m in love.

  • Bill_C March 13, 2014, 10:33 pm

    Mr. Money Mustache, I salute you!

    You have admirable principles
    You stand up for those principles
    and MOST of all, you see the bright side of everything (a key to life):

    “Either way, I look forward to learning the truth so I can better comply with the law, and sharing the results with you all along the way. I could not imagine a better learning experience, so I thank KISS trust for providing us with this opportunity!”

    I got sued once (I know you’re not even close to that), but it was one of the most outstanding educational experiences of my life.

    Have fun with this one! I certainly am having fun reading the blog, the forum posts, the tweets, the wikipedia page, and learning about the Streisand Effect.

    Based on how they came across your blog, and that they are manipulating their Wikipedia page, they might have signed on to one of those “reputation management” services that are being peddled to businesses everywhere to “manage” their online reputation. These services do ‘scans’ of the Internet, review sites, blogs, etc. in order to alert businesses of what is being said about them. There are even ‘reputation ratings’ that are applied. Some are pretty unscrupulous and will post fake Yelp reviews, either positive about the hiring business or negative about their competitors.


    Sometimes, these get carried too far. If this is what kiss my ass did, then… whooops…

    Oh, yeah, please feel free to give the kiss my ass lawyers my ip address. I’ll be happy to supply them with my attorney’s name in return.

  • Annie March 13, 2014, 10:41 pm

    My first reaction was to make a kind of snorting noise through my nose, and then I realised…they were serious!

  • living cheap in London March 14, 2014, 2:04 am

    It’s an old story, but there’s a good “UK David vs US Goliath” here:


    Like you say, the positive publicity this brings to the smaller company is the best advertising they could have asked for!

  • Novacek March 14, 2014, 8:07 am

    When they said DCMA, did they mean DMCA?

  • Brent Irvine March 14, 2014, 8:11 am

    Maybe if we ALL call KissTrust and ask them for a detailed clarification we can spend LOTS of time getting things cleared up.


  • Willis Montgomery III March 14, 2014, 8:28 am

    I hope you are successful in defeating this beast. It will be very entertaining to watch this all develop. If you get an apology, it will be very enjoyable to read it. I hope that you can restore the original post. I haven’t set up my trust yet, but one company is out of the running. Good luck and thank you for the inspiration to keep living small, keeping things simple and staying away from consumerism. I’ll keep reading!

  • Davies March 14, 2014, 8:38 am

    Woah. Well, we’re behind you 100%. This is one of the most useful blogs I’ve found. If there’s anything we can do, let us know. You could always launch a kickstarter campaign to help fund your legal fees. You might be surprised by the response…

  • MikeM March 14, 2014, 10:33 am

    Maybe this company should worry more about the quality of their business, that may solve the defamation issues!

  • Dollarbill March 14, 2014, 10:34 am

    MMM: Just so you don’t get totally consumed with this issue, how’s the home renovation going? :)

    This post is actually from Dollarbill49. I just registered on the forum.

  • imsharper March 14, 2014, 12:14 pm

    MMM you MUST be feeling all warm and gooey inside with the amount of support you are getting from this forum :) You can definitely tell that your posts are helping people and that in turn those people are prepared to help if needed (even though you didn’t ask for financial help) … It really is a wonderful thing to see … if the companies that are causing these troubles spent half the time on improving their businesses and company image rather than taking someone like you away (from us) and your very important (and MUCH needed) advice to achieving FI and ERE :)
    You should counter sue ;) for time/$$ lost lol… or WE should sue for THEM taking you away from US lol… ;)

    Hope you are having a great day!

  • Rod Harris March 14, 2014, 1:53 pm

    Surprised no one has suggested a MMM punch in the face for Mr Mark B Williams. MMM could even send him a bill for “plastic surgery services rendered”. There’s a thought…

    • Mr. Money Mustache March 15, 2014, 9:07 am

      Well, my punches in the face are only literal, not physical.

      So if Mark B. Williams drives a BMW instead of biking to his law office for work each day, I could write him a scathing paragraph or two about that.

      Or if he files these threats for clients out of economic necessity rather than believing he is really improving the world, I could show him the light of financial independence, and how you don’t have to take the shitty jobs when you have enough money to allow you to only do work you love.

      But he may actually love sending these letters – don’t know, never met the guy.

  • Dorcas March 14, 2014, 2:02 pm

    Can someone say “DRAMA”? What a bunch of scum sucking, bottom dwelling douche bags! It’s ironic that the word “Trust” is in their name. This company’s actions shows how insecure and untrustworthy they are.

    Thanks for letting us know about what this bully did because now we all know to stay away from them. Any solid company with a good reputation would not need to go after a retired, stay-at-home dad and blogger to “protect their name”. Either it’s the company or maybe someone snitched just because their jealous that you’re sooo freakin’ awesome, MMM! LOL I’ve got some money to burn thanks to your tips, MMM. Let us know if we can donate to kick some ass! I can’t stand this kind of stupid shit!

  • Tinks March 14, 2014, 3:26 pm

    MMM, long time reader here. I’m sorry to hear this is happening to you. Those are nasty letters and on first look very scary.

    I take it you did not have insurance against this type of thing? That’s not some kind of judgment – it’s horrible to have to get insurance for anything and this claim looks fairly meritless but you never know.

    I do not live in the US and have no experience running a blog-based business, but I wonder if there is some type of general or professional indemnity insurance that you could take out for the blog business which would in the future pay for your legal representation and if necessary cover the cost of damages you are liable to pay. This blog reaches so many people and only seems to be getting bigger so in my view this would be important to protect yourself and your family. (Maybe you can find one with a large excess like your healthcare!) It just seems inevitable that this kind of thing will start to happen as you get more bold and visible.

    • Mr. Money Mustache March 15, 2014, 8:52 am

      That’s a good question, and I had the same discussion with a friend last night. Business insurance is probably handy for something like a construction company, where a legal threat would be a serious distraction. Here, the legal threat becomes part of the story itself, so I can keep the blog going and we all learn something together.

      Plus, because of the amazing readership I get better access to great legal representation, and there is money available to pay for it. Lawyers are expensive, but not catastrophically unaffordable. The only risk would be LOSING a high-dollar lawsuit, but that only happens when you break the law – something I am very careful not to do. Plus, this blog is an LLC and has no assets other than a laptop computer, so that reduces personal risk if I have structured things properly. And again, having a law firm watch over things is helping in this regard.

      With insurance, the insurance company would hire the firm, which would then say, “OK, you are posting risky content, and that costs your insurance company money. We’ll defend you THIS time, but you must take it down, and we’re raising your premium next year too”.

  • 205guy March 14, 2014, 4:44 pm

    I’m a fan of Popehat and HN (and MMM of course), so I love it when all three communities intersect. Also, I’m not a lawyer, and I haven’t read all the source materials (forums, lawyer letters, laws).

    But something that is strange to me is why they threatened MMM directly. As many have mentioned and referenced the relevant laws, the website publisher is essentially immune to others posting content in a forum or comment. Forums/comments are different in that the author is responsible for their content (and can thus be sued), but the website owner is the one who can control whether the comment appears on the website/Internet or not (can take it down). Usually lawyers put pressure on the website owners to reveal the identity (IP address) of the commenter, so that they do discovery and can threaten/sue the commenter (who would then decide whether or not to ask the website to remove the comment).

    So I guess I’m warning MMM to be ready when they turn around and ask for the “offending” commenter’s information. They will probably try to do it outside of the courts (with more threatening letters), in which case it is my understanding you don’t need to comply (again I am not a lawyer), but if they get a court to recieve their lawsuit against John Doe and proceed with discovery, you may be forced to comply (though you could join the defense and make motions to oppose such discovery). Some companies try to protect their users/community against such things, others don’t have the time/will/money/principles to do so (I’d like to think MMM is in the former case). Anyways, it seems like you are in touch with good lawyers who can counsel you properly should this hypothetical situation arise.

  • The Wandering Poet March 14, 2014, 5:29 pm

    My good Sir, may I ask in which state you are domiciled?

    While I am happy that you have found a lawyer, involving my new friends in the Mississippi ACLU might be worthwhile.

  • Ian Turner March 14, 2014, 9:25 pm

    Streisand Effect in operation:

  • deepseafalcon March 15, 2014, 4:43 am

    maybe this company should have followed the advice for which their name is often used as a mnemonic:
    Keep It Simple Stupid!

    It appears like they just managed to make their business (or life) a whole lot more complicated … if I enter “KISS trust” in Google, MULTIPLE references to MMM and other articles discussing this story appear on page one!

    Ironically, doesn’t “KISS” stand for a lot of what MMMs principles are all about? LOL.

    A suggestion:
    In case this gets bigger than your website’s finances can handle … or as another means to show the KISS people where “the hammer hangs” :) … you may want to consider starting a project on one of the well known crowd funding platforms. The objective could simply be to defeat this attack on the free and open internet. This might show them how much support you actually got … hence how high they are hedging their bets.
    And it would make it easy and transparant for your supporters to contribute … and easy to refund if (hopefully) not needed. Just a thought …

    MMM, keep up the good work!

  • Ian March 15, 2014, 6:23 am

    Please visit Mark Steyn ..his site will educate you in dealing with your freedom of speech issues like no other…..live and learn that 10% of the US’s GDP goes to LEGAL Bullshit….fight on after reading his blogs..will give you strength….Bon Chance mon ami

  • Stephen March 16, 2014, 1:34 am

    So some people had bad experiences and put down their negative thoughts and experiences about that company in writing on the internet. I hear this travesty happens on a daily basis to thousands of businesses around the nation on some site called Yelp. I believe this type of activity is actually the life force of this publicly traded company. I guess this Kiss Trust and the law firm snever heard of it before, or hopes you never have. You may want to enlighten them about it. If anything, you’re giving them the gift of learning where to get the best tacos.

    I bet they also never expected a blogger to blog about their baseless threats. (Ha! I can just imagine them coming in the office in the morning and doing a routine check on your website: “Hey Kevin, we have a problem, this mustache guy is posting our legal threats on his website. Shit, now what? We can’t back down now or we’ll look like fools. Ok, lets just go at him harder with scarier letters”) Not exactly the most forward-looking people hanging out in that office…

    Although I hope you resolve this in the least amount of time possible, I sort of hope they continue with even more baseless threats and in the very end completely ruining their image to the point where they go out of business or change their name. It would be awesome to witness the “little guy” taking the large bully corporation to town like that.

  • Brainiac March 16, 2014, 2:57 am

    Hi MMM,
    I am an avid reader of MMM website though I cannot say too much about me being too badass. (I travel to work in a car in perfect weather when the company is within 5 Km due to wheezing problems)
    This is my first comment in the site though I have been reading and implementing yours, Jacob’s and Vicki’s principles for the last couple of years as much as possible suiting it to Indian situations.
    As I am not of the US I cannot comment much about the legal system but your response is very clever.
    In case they sue, you do not have anything in your llc (I guess you have followed Robert Kiyosaki in this issue :) )
    Also you have not mentioned anything against them and only given advice and the truth which is given in the form of their own letters and let the responses come from the readers for which no one can blame you.
    Also they have to now respond with greater amounts of cash and time when you can handle it with no cash and enough time to focus only on this issue.
    I wondered if you have considered the possibility of reaching out to anyone else who may have received such notices and who knows…make a class action suit against them?

  • Chad March 16, 2014, 8:58 pm

    I would be willing to donate a few dollars for legal fees .

  • EscapeVelocity2020 March 16, 2014, 11:26 pm

    The Forum seems to be down. I hope it’s just me, but all of my comments are giving me errors when I try to contribute. I was nervous when this all started, being put through the legal procedure. Bogleheads and Early-Retirement.org (and countless bulletin-board predecessors) are getting put on notice if this style of discussion can be subject to censorship and scrutiny. Could be some nasty teething pains getting over to the next gen of distributed, Reddit/wiki style commentary… I hope that’s not the case, I liked first gen, but I can also see how forums might be Napstered…

  • KMB March 17, 2014, 10:03 am

    Love that second attorney’s accusation that you’re hiding behind … the constitution … How dare you MMM!

    Standing up for your first amendment rights is for cowards. Real men ignore the Bill of Rights!

  • Paul Myatt March 17, 2014, 1:24 pm

    I had noticed that your blog seemed to have been updated slightly less often than usual in recent days. I sincerely hope that you haven’t had the stuffing knocked out of you by this unfortunate development.

    Here in United Kingdom, there is often talk of US style litigation coming to our shores, but so far at least we have been spared from the very worst excesses of the American legal system.

    Take a deep breath, and keep going! Your enthusiasm and insights into how to live the Good Life are too important to be missed. Besides I know you love a new challenge!

  • Everything In Moderation March 17, 2014, 2:33 pm

    Small Contribution to MMM: I will now be making an announcement about this company to my “Mommies in Charge” group that I lead. We have 300 members, and regularly discuss investing and financial issues. Kiss Trust is going to get more attention that it wants.

    Stay strong MMM!

  • Dave March 17, 2014, 6:31 pm

    I only read the first letter, but it sounds like it was written by a legal secretary or someone fresh out of law school. They couldn’t even consistently use the words “your” and “you’re” correctly. It’s clear business must be slow if you’re (not your) having your legal department troll the internet for defamatory statements. Grammatical errors notwithstanding, a couple questions come to mind:

    1. How did they get your address MMM?
    2. Have you considered filing a counter suit? Unsolicited mail from law firms
    that are clearly violating BAR standards sounds like harassment to me.
    Perhaps an accounting of quantitative ($) and qualitative (loss of
    appetite/diminished badassity) damages is in order as well as a trip to
    your local courthouse?
    3. Out of all the people they could have picked on, they chose someone in
    the prime of their mental health, who has several followers who
    are lawyers, is retired and for all intense and purposes has all the time in
    the world to fight back. Guess the risk assessment on that call fell
    through the cracks!

    • Mr. Money Mustache March 18, 2014, 10:09 am

      Thanks Dave, I appreciate your support! But just to help you in future grammar battles, you’ll want to write “intents and purposes” rather than “intense and purposes” next time :-)

  • David Joseph March 17, 2014, 10:14 pm

    After discovering this blog a couple months ago, I have finally read pretty much all the posts. I love the way an “early retirement” blog has morphed into SO much more!

    But with this latest example – standing your ground against these bully lawyers – you have shown yourself to possess a whole new level of badassity! Keep up the good work!!!

  • Geneviève (Paris, France) March 18, 2014, 6:14 am

    Reading this blog since a few months, I like it very much for all the good advice (the situation in Europe is sometimes quite different, but the ideas are always interesting and the goal of FI is the same for me, although quite difficult).
    This blog is also quite interesting to a better understanding of your north-american society… and I learnerd a lot already through the posts and comments…
    Concerning law – which I studied in France – and lawyers, this is absolutely fabulous and I’m impatient to read more ;)
    I think MrMM, that your “battle” is highly interesting and usefull… not only in the US.

  • Yossif March 18, 2014, 1:12 pm

    Fight the good fight, MMM! As a tiny blog owner, this kinda shit scares me. I recently changed around all my old pictures because I heard of lawsuits popping up for using non-CC images and I freaked out. Now apparently I have to worry about this too, if I get popular enough.

    Good luck, I figure you’ll get around their bullshit somehow!


  • Tobesurf March 19, 2014, 5:49 am

    With reference to their first letter dated 6th Feb 2014, I’m presuming they mean Ernst & Young, rather than Ernest & Young?!

    It’s obviously this incredible level of attention to detail that Kiss Trust’s clients can have so much faith in ;-)

    Now that the Streisand effect has well and truly kicked-in I would actually posit that their continued demands of you to remove this content are entirely and wholly unreasonable and amount to further bullying and harassmant, let alone a blatant attempt to censor the private opinion of individuals.

    Let the now very public Kiss Trust ass-kicking commence!

  • Merissa March 19, 2014, 6:17 am

    I’m riled up and ready for the fight! It would have been so nice, however, if KissTrust had simply asked you to kindly remove the dumb comment, and if you obliged.

    • Mr. Money Mustache March 19, 2014, 6:37 pm

      I wouldn’t have obliged, because comments like the contested one are perfectly legal to make, and it’s not a website owner’s role to remove them.

      However, if they had asked permission to join the conversation so they could offer their own viewpoint, THAT would have worked well.

  • MMHeaven March 19, 2014, 11:07 am

    Hello MMM, although you seem to have strong lawyers to represent you, I would suggest adding a layer of anti-takedown security by moving your domain and its DNS services to EasyDNS, based in Canada.

    Unlike most spineless registrars, they vigorously fight casual domain takedown requests, as can be seen from quite a few entries on their blog: http://blog.easydns.org

  • Mark D Kerr March 20, 2014, 8:46 pm

    BRAVO! There’s nothing more despicable than people with a boat load of money and a fascist attitude about what everyone else is doing. “I AM POWERFUL! Have my attorneys crush those damn peasants!”

    Stay the course and make them wish they’d behaved like decent human beings.

  • Concojones March 23, 2014, 9:10 am

    Hilarious “P.S.”!

    Glad to hear that this seems to be ending well.

  • Stephen Smyth March 31, 2014, 1:39 pm

    Kiss Trust, what a mistake it was to take on this great blog. Good luck with the fight MMM

  • Pascal April 8, 2014, 6:51 am

    you should counter sue for attempted extortion or something to that effect!
    making false legal claims can be a crime in itself! it has just happened to some content industry copyright trolls – in both germany and the US.


  • Mike Avery April 9, 2014, 2:44 pm

    My mustache, and my beard, are quivering to find out what the latest status on this battle is.

    Have the forces of mustachian good triumphed?

    Is the battle still underway?

    Are the dastardly brigands beating a disorganized retreat?


    • squeakywheel April 13, 2014, 8:45 am

      I was wondering the same thing…would love to hear that the forces of evil are in full retreat.

  • theescapeartist May 16, 2014, 8:39 am

    Is there an update to this in the works? I’m curious to know the outcome and sure lots of others are as well!

    • Jason October 14, 2014, 3:33 pm

      Same here, what’s the latest on this MMM?

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow Jeff July 16, 2014, 4:01 pm

    FYI – It looks like Wikipedia did eventually delete the page.

  • vr October 24, 2014, 12:14 am

    I find it very sad that our world has come to this. Every time we hear something about USA here in Europe it is only about 1)wars 2)lawyers and absurd law suits 3)”stupid” people. It’s everything the general public gets from the news and behind every story lies a truth, right? It’s like you people can’t handle things yourself anymore, everything must be about suing others for millions instead of having constructive talks man to man with some fists if necessary. We are very familiar with the cases why Playstation manuals now days include the picture of how NOT to plug the power cord into your ear. Or why car manuals now days say that the cruise control is NOT automatic steering, only automatic speed control. Or how you can slip your ass in the coffee shop and instead of going home embarrassed about your clumsiness, what do you do? You of course sue the coffee shop about “too hot coffee” and get millions. What the fuck, do you drink cold coffee around there or why is it a surprise that if you spill steaming coffee that hasn’t been mixed with milk, etc it will burn you? Even a child knows what happens when he puts a hand on the hot stove.

    I imagine what would have been MMMs answer if the guy in the top seat would have sent him a personal message without the legal department messing? Something like “Hi, this is XX from company YY, I happened to get information about a post made by one of your readers in the forum section and read through the post and the comments that followed. While everyone has their full right to express their opinions, I’m not very fond of some of the ‘overstatements’ he/she made. I would be very grateful If you could make a point to their direction that the use of words like ‘scam’ can be very hurtful when pointed at a firm that follows all the laws in this country. Let me know if you can look into this matter, thanks!” or something similar.

    But no, when someone in the publicity department (hogging up peoples money in the first place just to follow some discussion on some forum that they found through Google) noticed this, I bet they informed the law department which then went to the top man with drooling and rubbing hands. The boss might have not even taken a single look into the matter, he just waived his magical pen over the legal paper earning his ridiculously high salary in the process and justified the harassment of a single blog writer. Nobody wins but the lawyers, they get paid no matter what the result is.

  • Erwin January 3, 2015, 2:09 pm

    Any updates on the legal threats?

    or even a letter of apology :P

  • Maria April 13, 2016, 11:20 am

    Thank you for this article and the blog post. I was actually looking into setting this up for my kids since I don’t have a large amount of money to put away for them but I did want it invested until they turned 30. I don’t have the funds to set up a trust fund since I believe it’s somewhere along the lines of 2000$ per trust, but I did want some type of account they couldn’t touch but also that would be making extra money while it sits. (Their dad passed away and I received a decent amount of money for them.) I also didn’t want this money to count against them when they head off to college and ask for financial aid. *Sigh* I guess it was too good to be true!

  • Korey Smith September 17, 2016, 8:09 pm

    I was looking into this as well, but finally got down to the most recent comments (this year), and see that it is still getting some traction. I can’t fathom how a company isn’t willing to take “the good with the bad” as far as customer reviews go. It’s what we refer to as a free market!


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