A court in Grasse, France, has sentenced the chief executive and the sales manager of a German company who in June were found guilty of distributing without authorization material by Cape Verde music

LONDON -- A court in Grasse, France, has sentenced the chief executive and the sales manager of a German company who in June were found guilty of distributing without authorization material by Cape Verde music artist Cesaria Evora.

The court ruled that the company, Berlin-based Ricord, did not own the rights to the CDs. Evora is signed to Paris-based indie label Lusafrica, which is licensed to BMG for the world.

The case was brought to court by French collecting society SCPP, after Ricord was found selling allegedly pirate material at the Midem music-industry trade fair in 1999.

The chief executive of Ricord, Ulrich Blobel, was sentenced to a six-month jail term and fined 20,000 euros ($24,340) for selling counterfeit products. The jail sentence is not suspended because Blobel was previously convicted for similar offenses in France.

In addition, the court ordered Blobel to pay SCPP 32,000 euros ($38,944) in damages.

The sales manager of Ricord was fined 5,000 euros ($6,085), with no prison sentence.

Blobel says he plans to appeal.