Commercial or Domestic user – what is the difference?

For those who work in the Am Dram theatre world you’ll know all about paying licenses or royalties and it will come as no surprise to you that we have two different rates for usage.  But for those who aren’t in “that world” you may think it’s a strange way to buy what is essentially the same script and you may be tempted to “cheat the system”.

Please don’t.

Yes, we might not notice initially – but we do often find out and then you may be landed with a big bill you aren’t expecting a little down the line.  You have, after all, ticked to sign a box on check out you are conforming to our “terms and conditions” – and this is part of them.

Yes – we could simply remove the “domestic user license” – but we don’t want to as then everyone loses out.  Not everyone needs to pay it.  And when we find someone who’s purchased the commercial user license by accident, we always refund the difference – even if we spot it and they don’t – as we’re nice that way!  Imagine running a charity and suddenly getting £100 back?  It happens.

So why do we have these two different licenses?  And how do you pick between them?

A bit of background first…

We engage with authors from around the world to write for us.  Many have written several games and we love our authors dearly.  In the interests of fairness and to allow our authors to benefit as our business grows we pay our authors every time their game is purchased (and, we therefore assume played).  So, you buy a game and play it once and we pay our authors accordingly.  Our authors like this and it encourages them to write more great games for you to play, thus giving you the largest selection of murder mystery dinner party games to pick from and therefore helping you to be host-extraordinaire by always throwing unique parties.  Win-win folks!

In order to pay our authors, we have two types of licences; domestic and commercial.

In the majority our games are listed on our website under the domestic licence pricing, allowing you to play once in a private setting.  And we know this is most of our customers and we love you all.  Also if you’re a not-for-profit organisation fund raising for your school, charity, church or theatre group we’re also happy for you to purchase under a domestic licence.  You aren’t profiteering from an author’s work – and they love you too.  It spreads the word about their great games, and no one is earning “on the side” from their personal endeavours.  AND we all want to ensure charities are supported, and by keeping the costs down on our games for charities – we are all providing you with a charitable donation of £100 each time you buy a game to use.

BUT…. if you’re a hotel, venue, event management company or theatre group or similar and selling tickets to your event, or you’re looking to make a profit from the evening (including from your additional bar-takings) then you’ll need a commercial licence.  This is only fair.  Rather than running the event for just enjoyment for you and friends you are actually using it for commercial gain – thereby removing the author”s ability to sell within your region, or another event management company (who is operating under the correct license) to sell their evening – which means the author loses money.

You may also be running the event more than once (perhaps as a theatre group hosting in several different village or church halls over a season) and again you’ll need a commercial licence for every event.  (The same holds true if you’re a charity… all our licenses are for single use, so you may need to buy multiple domestic user licenses if you’re running it more than once.) We do supply multi-use licenses at a reduced rate, so if you need to run it more than once – get in touch so you can take advantage of that too.

If you’re in any doubt which license you need, or if you want to use a kit more than once – just give us a ring.  Remember; we’re the loveliest assassins you’ll ever meet and we’re more than happy to help, support and compromise…so seriously, ring us.

A great deal depends on numbers of guests involved each time and how much profit is expected from the events.  We aren’t unreasonable.  We know that a small guest house just isn’t in the same league as a hotel venue that sits 500 and we look at each case on a case by case basis.

We’d far rather you were honest and upfront so that we can be too.  We don’t want to have to unpick something after the event and land you with a big bill.  (Our customers are lovely and we do get anonymous tip offs from people from time to time who’ve spotted one of our kits being used wrongly as they know we’re fair folk and don’t like to see us getting fleeced either.  Which is lovely of them.)

If we pay our authors correctly they are happy folks, eating healthily, enjoying what they do and doing it more, so that we have loads of great games for you to play.  Baked beans are over rated and we don’t want our authors living in poverty.  We just hope you agree.



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Flexible and fun!

We contacted Red-Herring-Games for a party for a special occasion. Why going to restaurants to eat is the preferred activity to mark milestones is beyond me and my friends.   The choice of mystery was obvious, looking at the options from New Zealand on the web Red Herring stuck out from the international options.  A quick look at the site and games showed subtlety as well a range of choices.  The numbers you could have for each evening was important,  Red Herring had scaling options a good range of scenarios but most importantly were Jo and team being flexible, responsive and helpful.

Rachel McWilliam, Arts Development Officer, Lincs Inspire

Thank you Red Herring Games for the marvellous 'Murder!  Cargo Connections?' event that you organised for us as part of Museums at Night at the Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby. The whole evening went so well and was brilliant fun.  I know from all the feedback that our visitors had a fantastic time. It was really good working with you and I have no doubt that we will do again in the not too distant future.  

A. Nonymous (council employee)

I would like to thank you and your colleague for helping contribute towards our successful conference last month.  Everyone really seemed to enjoy the evening and it was rewarding that so many delegates were able to participate in addition to the main "Actors".  Our conference evaluation froms included the following comments:
  • "Enjoyed the evening entertainment!"
  • The evening entertainment was great and the confusion made it great fun!"
With thanks and best wishes.

Sarah Spencer (Cleethorpes Chronicle)

I had no idea what to expect before purchasing a ticket for Old, New, Borrowed, Blue, which was being staged at a nearby hotel, and feared it might involve taking part in some way. However thankfully for me no acting was necessary, just some amateur sleuthing. "Wedding guests" of which I was one, were called upon to move from room to room in the hotel in groups, questioning a number of possible murderers with the aim of solving the mystery of the dead bridegroom. The interviewees were really fun characters and gave us all some good laughs. Of course they all had motives and it was a case of identifying the shiftiest. The wedding theme was particularly good, as it fitted well with the venue, the buffet that was part of the evening (with a wedding cake in the middle) and the fact that everyone had been able to dress up to fit in without going to the trouble of fancy dress. I didn't think I had enough "evidence" to actually accuse anyone but later regretted not even writing down my first guess as it wouldn't have been too far off the mark. The evening was great fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it and take part. I would definitely recommend Old, New, Borrowed, Blue as good for getting even reluctant or first-time mystery party-goers involved.  

Alan Young (Personal Touch Mortgages)

What a cracking nights entertainment! We don't get out much nowadays with 2 kids and this was exactly what we were looking for in a good night out. Lots of fun with tongue firmly in cheek and everyone kept guessing whodunnit right to the very end. Would definitely attend another!!!!!  


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