Yes, it's a "protect the driver from his own stupidity" setting.
4L has a top speed of something like 18 mph. If you can go faster than that, you generally don't need lockers or the excess stress they put on other components.
So the easy, non-chip workaround is simply to use 4L. I've begun doing just about all my offroading in 4L. Just starting in 3rd gear and upshifting from there feels about similar to starting in 1st in 4H. On top of that, you get the anti-stall feature if you hit any inclines.