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Turned Off Digital Billboards Cannot Be Converted Into 'Regular' Signs, says Court Order

The city obtained a court order today to prevent two outdoor sign companies from wrapping turned-off digital billboards with vinyl advertising content, according to the City Attorney's Office.

CBS and Clear Channel Outdoor were ordered last month to turn off nearly 100 digital signs after their permits that were invalidated by a judge.

According to the City Attorney's Office, the companies cannot convert their invalidated signs into regular billboards without "vetting by the court."

The fate of the signs will be determined at a July 16 hearing, according to city attorney spokesman Frank Mateljan.

According to the earlier court ruling, the two companies put up their digital signs under a 2006 "poison agreement" with the city. A digital sign company that was not part of that agreement and did not receive permits to put up digital signs successfully challenged the agreement in 2009, resulting in Clear Channel -- which had most of the invalidated digital sign permits -- and CBS complying with the judge's order last month to switch off their signs.

Representatives for the billboard companies were not immediately available for comment.

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