Usually less free than a commercial license? I'm curious about your definition of less.
You can copy GPL software to any and all machines you want without restrictions. (commercial software doesn't usually let you do that)
You can give or sell GPL software to anyone, as long as you provide them the source code. (commercial software doesn't usually allow that)
You can modify it and use it anywhere (commercial software doesn't usually allow that)
You can incorporate it into your own code, provided that you license your code as GPL (commercial software doesn't usually allow that)
You can pay for the rights to do all of these things with commercial software, subject to the copyright holders predilection for selling those rights.
The only thing you cannot do is incorporate GPL software into your own NON-GPL code without paying the copyright holder for those additional rights, subject to their willingness to license those rights, but you can't do that with commercial software either.
As I see it you are never more restricted by the GPL than a commercial license. There exist commercial licenses that allow unlimited use and distribution and modification and distribution of the modified code, but they are extremely rare big $$$$ licenses - Sun's license for Unix and Microsofts license for SQL Server are good examples.
If you are a developer and want to sell binary only copies of a modified version of something, then you may be better off starting from something that isn't GPL licensed. But that doesn't make it more free, just better suited to your particular purposes, and describing it as more free is inaccurate. It is simply more convenient to license the particular rights you are interested in. A software USER always has more freedom under the GPL than a commercial license because the only right constrained by the GPL is one that does not impact them, and commercial software nearly always constrains usage rights in some way. Users can even legally use GPL'd software without agreeing to the license!