Snippets from programs on rival networks are now legal fodder for comedy writers after the Australian High Court ruled Thursday in a case instigated by the Nine Network against Network Ten's chat show

SYDNEY--Snippets from programs on rival networks are now legal fodder for comedy writers after the Australian High Court ruled Thursday in a case instigated by the Nine Network against Network Ten's chat show "The Panel."

The Ten program in Australia was accused of infringing copyright laws because it didn't obtain consent for its use of footage from Nine shows in 1999 and 2000. But in a majority decision, the High Court ruled that permission is not needed for every image broadcast.

A ruling is still required on just how much footage can be legally broadcast without permission from the copyright holder. The High Court remanded the case back to the lower federal court on this issue.

Jacqueline Lee Lewes writes for Billboard sister publication The Hollywood Reporter.