Originally Posted by Bookworm_Girl
Charis SIL is my favorite alternative to the Sony default. I certainly recommend it, but it's worth noting that it doesn't look like the Kindle font.
Charis SIL is one of my favorites as well.
Due to the fact that this font is freely available
, I have found that quite a few commercial EPUBs now come with this font embedded right in the file.
With the font embedded in the EPUB, you don't have to do anything at all to change the type face, the Sony just loads it automatically from the EPUB.
I am sure the popularity of the Charis SIL font has a much to do with it's freedom from licensing encumbrances as its aesthetic appeal.
My guess is the publishers want to be on the safe side, though I don't see how Microsoft or Adobe could come after you for embedding one of their fonts in a commercial EPUB. Embedding fonts into PDF's and MS Word documents has been common practice for many years, and no one said anything about folks not being able to commercially market something like a MS Word or PDF formatted newsletter, simply because it includes "Ariel" or "Times".
The way the fonts portion of most license agreements reads, the only relevant issue seems to be whether the font in question is being sold as a product itself, or as part of a competing publishing package (which is NOT allowed), or simply being embedded pursuant to rendering a derived commercial work (which IS allowed).
I guess the big publishers just don't want to take chances, because they have 'deep pockets'
The only downside (or upside depending on your point of view) to the Charis SIL font is that it is a full Unicode font that supports a HUGE set of characters, so embedding it bloats the EPUB file from a few hundred K bytes, to a couple of Megabytes for a typical title
As has been suggested here, the way around this is to put the font in a dedicated folder on the Sony and edit the CSS in your EPUBs so they point to it, but this has the disadvantage of having then created a EPUB that is specific to your modified reader, and which will not display properly on another reader unless it also has that font available and loaded in exactly the same location.
Personally, I prefer to embed the required fonts directly into each EPUB, and have a large collection of old TTF fonts that are much smaller than Charis but still look quite nice.
These came with various draw packages which have permissive licenses allowing their use in so-called 'derived works', so if I do self publish any EPUB titles, I plan to use them freely.