Right now if the Canon R&D engineer's come up with a better feature for DPP, Canon Utility, etc. as a Canon user I can upgrade for free. (you can substitute Nikon)
No, faulty premise...Nikon SELLS it's software so if they come with a Geewiz new thingie, you have to pay...
However if the Adobe (any software RAW authoring company) comes up with a new feature for working with RAW files I have to "pay" to upgrade to their software. So you are asking Canon/Nikon to show all their cards while asking us the consumers to pay for your engineers?
Your faulty premise again...Canon/Nikon don't "have to show their cards" because they already do...the moment they release a file format into the wild, it's decoded...either by Adobe, Dave Coffin (that does Dcraw) or Eric Hyman the does Bibble or a host od other small 3rd parties. The only real "secret" about Nikon's or Canon's file formats is that there really no secrets in them. The true innovations are in the analog>digital chips onboard the cameras. By the time the image data and metadata are written to media, the "secrets" are irrelevant. And that's what too many photographers don't grasp when they say that only Nikon or Canon can possible know how to process their files. Not true. Only Nikon or Canon know what's in their A/D processors, true and there's nothing wrong keeping that top secret. But the file formats are not a useful battleground for proprietary data. Sony tried that with their first pro camera. They used a teal color instead of the traditional R, G, G, B Bayer. it was R, G, T, B instead. To keep that secret, they encrypted the data. They figured that it would take about a year to decode the encryption. It was done in less than two weeks. Sony and the rest of industry learned learned a valuable lesson...don't put anything in a raw file you don't want people to look at. So, they don't.
I have been working on Adobe products since the 80's & I don't see them to be any more helpful to photographers than Canon/Nikon. In fact I do remember a while back a poll by Canon on developing software to go with the image files that would help photographers "byline" (for lack of a better term) their images. Photoshop does not allow us to create an internet file that can lock in our MetaData even though this is a feature photographers truly need & want. When you look at the problem through real archival eyes no company will honor it's promises as soon as the monetary incentive is gone.
Then you simply are ignoring the facts...FACT: Adobe has allowed the PDF format to be adopted as an archival format called PDF-A and is an ISO standard. FACT, Adobe granted the ISO the right to use the TIFF-6 format for the ISO TIFF-EP format (without a fee BTW). FACT, Adobe has engineered and release the XMP initiative (again, also available for free) as a standard method of maintaining and extending metadata. FACT: Adobe has offered the DNG spec to the ISO (we'll see how that goes) Oh, and fact, Adobe released DNG and DNG Converter as a free utility to allow raw file formats to be converted into a documented and open standard raw file format.
So, your "archival eyes" are a bit near (or far) sighted...you say that Adobe doesn't provide a method of "locking" metadata for the internet, but you fail to realize that that would be the WRONG thing since the whole purpose of metadata is to be added to so that an image can be enriched over time by adding additional metadata to it. You seem to be pissed that Adobe won't make a file format that allows photographers to lock their image, but they have. Save out your Photoshop file as a PDF and you can put two levels of password security into your PDF. What, you don't deliver PDFs to clients? Why not? It solves the whole file security for photographers issue...
Nope, sorry, I think your point of view need revising and further research...the more Adobe does to advance DNG, the less arguments are left to allow the camera makers to continue along the route of bad behavior. No photographer should be in the least bit fooled by Nikon and Canon...there is zero, (as in no friggin') benefit to photographers to allow Nikon and Canon to continue in their slipshod manner.
This really isn't an "Adobe just wants to screw photographers" issue...no, I don't agree with Adobe's international pricing (I understand it, but don't like it). Yes, I understand and agree with Adobe's policy of only supporting "current" users for free (did I mention FREE) Camera Raw upgrades so Thomas and friends can keep working on FUTURE versions rather than waste their time developing backwards compatibility. Yes, I agree that every 18 months (I'm an author that is forced to revise a book) Photoshop and the entire suite is upgraded is too short of a time. No, I don't think Photoshop upgrades are too expensive (just a bit too often). But NONE of that stuff has ANYTHING to do with Nikon and Canon's behavior and nothing Adobe does or doesn't do should be used as motivation to allow the camera makers' behavior regarding raw files.
You can play devils advocate all ya want, but it doesn't alter the fact that what Nikon and Canon are doing sucks for the industry at large...